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SOFAR Obtains License To Use Immersion TouchSense Haptics Technology

Immersion Corporation, a developer and licensor of haptics technology, has reported that SOFAR, an Italian manufacturer of medical devices for minimally invasive surgery, has obtained a license to use its TouchSense haptics technology in ALF-X (Advanced Laparoscopy through Force Reflection) telesurgical robot system.

Immersion said that the TouchSense will provide haptic feedback in the cockpit/console from which surgeons control and manipulate the system, engaging the sense of touch to assist in device navigation and laparoscopic procedures. The license represents momentum for Immersion in the growing robotics surgery market.

SOFAR developed ALF-X in conjunction with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The system employs a range of features covering tactile sensing capabilities, versatility, safety and ease of use to improve the quality of laparoscopic surgical procedures. ALF-X is intended for use in hospitals, universities, medical training center and research organizations worldwide.

Craig Vachon, senior vice president of Immersion, said: “While the technological advances in laparoscopic and robotic surgery have improved outcomes and extended the reach of practitioners, they’ve created a physical distance.

“SOFAR clearly understands the value of touch feedback in live surgery; our TouchSense technology bridges that distance and provides the tactile cues that inform a surgeon, ultimately improving procedure quality and resulting in optimum patient care.”

Alfonso Labruzzo, chief executive officer of SOFAR, said: “With the evolution and innovations of technology, it is critical that surgeons don’t lose their sense of touch. With Immersion’s industry-leading haptics, we are able to provide the critical element of touch feedback to surgeons in our ALF-X system, and provide them with an exceptional surgical solution.”