SAFROS - Patient Safety in Robotic Surgery

Starting date
April 1, 2010
Duration (months)
Computer Science, Department of Engineering for Innovation Medicine
Managers or local contacts
Fiorini Paolo

This proposal addresses the development of technologies for patient safety in robotic surgery. We define
patient safety metrics for surgical procedures and then develop methods that abide by safety requirements,
formulated in terms of our metrics. We aim at demonstrating that a properly controlled robotic surgery carried
out in accordance to our safety criteria can improve the level of patient safety currently achievable by traditional
The main innovative aspects of this project are:
1- Research driven by patient-safety requirements
2- Emphasis on methodological rigor: development of a methodology founded in evidence-based medicine
3- Scope: the entire surgical workflow is considered for development and validation.
SAFROS focuses on innovative development of methods for the following technologies:
• Soft organ modeling and calibration, considering patient pathologies and anatomical variants
• Simulation planning in deformable environments
• Intra-operative registration and workflow monitoring
• Robot modeling and performance monitoring
• Surgeon training
• Operator interface with integrated stereovision and haptics
New methods are integrated and validated on two distinct surgical robots (MIRO and RAMS), with respect to two
inherently different contexts (pancreatic and vascular surgery). We quantitatively validate the adherence of our
methods to the safety criteria, using surgical phantoms and animals. By comparing across robots and surgical
contexts we draw conclusions about the generality of our approach.
The SAFROS consortium comprises:
• Hospitals with worldwide reputation, which provide medical knowledge and can validate our approach
• Europe’s leading research groups in telerobotics and surgical robotics
• Innovative companies, to develop new technologies for surgical simulators
• World Health Organization, with global expertise in patient safety surgical safety guidelines
• Renowned educational organizations, to innovate surgeon training


Unione Europea
Funds: assigned and managed by the department
Syllabus: EUROPA - Progetti Europei

Project participants

Michela De Piccoli
Laboratory technician
Pierluigi Di Giovanni
Paolo Fiorini
Research Assistants
Lorenza Gasperotti
Lorenzo Grespan
Michele Scandola
Associate Professor
Luca Vezzaro
Davide Zerbato
Research Assistants
Research areas involved in the project
Sistemi ciberfisici
Embedded and cyber-physical systems


Research facilities