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Revolutionary Robotics: Improving Eye Disease Treatment

Revolutionary Robotics: Improving Eye Disease Treatment

Recent research shows the potential of using robotics to improve treatments for debilitating eye diseases. Scientists from King's College London, in collaboration with doctors from King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, have developed a robot system that considerably enhances the treatment of wet neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The system uses a custom-built robot that operates by delivering a minimal, one-time dose of radiation, succeeded by regular injections into the patient's eye. This innovative method was used on patients suffering from wet AMD, and the results indicate a potential breakthrough in treating this disease.

In a landmark trial published in The Lancet, the use of the robot system resulted in patients requiring fewer injections to effectively control the disease, indicating potential savings of approximately 1.8 million injections per year globally.

Wet AMD currently affects about 196 million people around the world, with the Royal College of Ophthalmologists estimating over 700,000 cases in the UK alone. The number of those affected is expected to surge by 60% by 2035 due to an aging population.

Scientists were able to find that the robot assisted treatment is more targeted than current methods, delivering three beams of focused radiation into the afflicted eye. The findings revealed that the high precision of the robotic radiotherapy resulted in patients needing fewer injections to manage their disease compared to standard treatment.

The research team led by Professor Timothy Jackson and Dr. Helen Dakin reiterates that this new approach could provide significant relief from the frequent hospital visits and recurring eye injections that current treatments require. The robotic treatment could potentially reduce the number of injections needed by about a quarter.

This study was jointly funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) and successfully recruited 411 participants across 30 NHS hospitals. The research was a collaborative effort, involving King's College London, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Oxford, the University of Bristol, and Queen's University in Belfast.

Disclaimer: The above article was written with the assistance of AI. The original sources can be found on ScienceDaily.