CEO Clement Vidal led the Robot-assisted Co-Manipulation in Surgery (ARCC) project that won recognition in the ‘personalized medicine’ category

As an award winner, Clement Vidal will meet the French president at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, July 23

EndoControl, a leading innovator of robot-assisted systems for endoscopic surgery, announces that its CEO Clement Vidal has won an award in the ‘World Innovation Challenge’ for his ARCC project (Robot-assisted Co-Manipulation in Surgery) in the ‘personalized medicine’ category.

The Worldwide Innovation Challenge is part of the Innovation 2030 initiative launched in 2013 by the French government to support and develop future entrepreneurs. The competition was open to non-French companies seeking to set up in France.

Less than 10 per cent of the projects entered made the final selection. The EndoControl ARCC project for intelligent surgeon/robot interaction was one of 110 award winners. Each will receive funding of up to EUR 200,000 from BPIFrance the French public investment bank.

Clement Vidal
Clement Vidal

The French president Francois Hollande invited Worldwide Innovation Challenge winners to the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday, July 23. They will be joined by Segolene Royal, the minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, Arnaud Montebourg, the minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs and other ministerial staff. Anne Lauvergeon, a French business leader and former CEO of Areva, who chairs the ‘Innovation 2030’ Committee, will give the keynote speech.

“I am honored to meet the president today in recognition of the ARCC project, a pioneering technology for intelligent surgeon and robot interaction,” said Clement Vidal, co-founder and CEO of EndoControl. “Being chosen for the ‘Worldwide Innovation Challenge’ award reinforces EndoControl’s credibility and our position in the surgical robotics market. It also brings international recognition to the innovative quality and potential of our technology. Our ambition is to contribute to the development of the medical robotics sector in France and globally. The founding principles of the Worldwide Challenge correspond to our vision of developing breakthrough technological products for our growing customer base.”

The ARCC project is aimed at strengthening the company’s product portfolio. The company’s first three products, ViKY(R) EP, ViKY(R) UP and JAiMY(TM), are already in use on over 150 operating tables worldwide.

The global market in surgical robots is currently estimated at USD 3.2 billion. This is expected to reach USD 20 billion by 2019 (Source: WinterGreen Research). In 2000, only 1,000 surgical operations around the world were carried out with robotic assistance, compared to 360,000 in 2011 and 450,000 in 2012. With its many innovations, EndoControl is in the ideal position to play a major role in this fast-growing market.

“I’m very pleased to see Clement Vidal, the founder of EndoControl and an Ecole Polytechnique alumnus, win a ‘Worldwide Innovation Challenge’ award,” said Jacques Biot, president of the Ecole Polytechnique and a member of the Innovation 2030 Commission. “The educational vision of the Ecole Polytechnique aims to place a stronger focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. It is therefore with interest and a sense of satisfaction that I follow Clement Vidal’s career. He demonstrates this entrepreneurial drive and aims to respond to society’s future needs by developing innovative medical technology.”

Today, as tasks are becoming ever more robotized, medicine presents a particular challenge. The anatomical and pathological differences between patients mean that it cannot be reduced to perfectly reproducible actions. The solutions proposed thus far seek to turn the robot into a mere ‘slave arm’, remotely controlled by the surgeon. With its products EndoControl optimizes the collaboration between the doctor and the robot in order to make the best use of human skills (pathological knowledge, ability to adapt, flexibility, etc.) and the benefits of robotics (precision, stability, reproducibility, computing power, databases, etc.). With JAiMY, for example, EndoControl brought to market the smallest robotic surgical instrument, enabling pain and scarring to be reduced.

The ARCC project allows the assisting robot to become a co-worker – at the same time both guiding and being guided by the surgeon. Intelligent surgeon/robot interaction meets the need for surgical actions to be individualized, while still assuring a high degree of precision. Thus, ARCC is truly advanced, both in terms of technology and the approach to surgical robotics, allowing the robot to become an actor in treatment strategy, working alongside the surgeon, rather than in series as was the traditional remote-controlled approach.

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