ITRI and Catcher Technology jointly announced that they will collaborate on a next-generation integrated electrosurgery system and co-develop a hybrid energy system for minimally invasive surgery. This collaborative project, supported by the Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT), Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), combines ITRI’s software-hardware integration ability and Catcher Technology’s expertise in material manufacturing to jointly develop advanced medical device applications. The aim is to foster an ecosystem of med-tech industrial cluster in Taiwan, increase the value of medical devices, and seize the smart and precision medicine markets.
According to the DoIT, ITRI will work on the industrialization of innovative technologies, while the world’s leading metal electronics casing supplier Catcher Technology will take advantage of its strong industrial supply chain and technological capability. The combination of smart medical devices and precision manufacturing will fill the gaps in Taiwan's medical device industrial chain and drive the entire industry’s growth and development.
ITRI President Edwin Liu noted that laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery has become popular due to small wounds and quick recovery. However, most imported surgical devices only have a single function such as cutting or hemostasis. This increases the time and risk when changing between different surgical instruments, and obscures the surgeons' vision during operation due to electrosurgical smoke. ITRI and Catcher’s cooperation on the next-generation integrated electrosurgery system can fulfill clinical needs by providing one instrument with multiple functions, and thus bring more benefits to clinicians and patients alike. As Taiwan has a complete ICT industrial cluster and high-quality medical system conducive to the development of personalized medicine, mHealth and telemedicine, industries can explore new value and market opportunities from multidisciplinary cooperation and integration.
Chairman Shui-Shu Hung of Catcher Technology notes that given the opportunity of working hand in hand with ITRI, Catcher looks forward to leveraging its strengths in material science and manufacturing, working with ITRI’s experienced R&D capabilities, and incorporating the opinions of doctors to develop a novel hybrid system for minimally invasive surgery. Combining both bipolar and ultrasonic energies, the system dynamically provides different energy types and levels for the surgical scalpel, effectively solving the shortcomings of traditional electrosurgical units. Chairman Hung added that this instrument can be mainly used in minimally invasive surgery for the abdomen with its capabilities of vessel sealing, coagulation, cutting and dissection, and can be simultaneously deployed to fulfill different clinical needs with a customizable design. 2021 is the first year of Catcher’s transformation, and the company has accumulated considerable technology and capabilities in the smart healthcare industry. Catcher is optimistic about the development of AI smart care system and minimally invasive surgery. The company will co-work with top-tier brands on product development and manufacturing, aiming to become a well-known CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization).
It is hoped that the innovative system can be widely used in Taiwan and then tap into the international market, providing a successful example of how the ICT industry can integrate its strengths into the biomedical fields.
Photo credit: ITRI