A Buckinghamshire company has won an award for its innovative surgical robot.
High Wycombe-based Prosurgics' FreeHand robotic camera holder has been named the 2008 Innovation of the Year by the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons in the USA.
The device, which was developed with help from Cambridge's Sagentia, is used in minimally-invasive abdominal procedures and leaves surgeons' hands free by being controlled by their head movements.
According to the firms behind the robot, FreeHand can reduce key-hold surgery times, while giving medical professions more control and optimal visualisation.
Bill Perry, President of Prosurgics' recently-formed US operation, commented: "FreeHand is an important innovation because it has been designed to solve problems experienced by every laparoscopic surgeon, such as poor visualisation and variable levels of surgical procedure assistance.
Ian Anderson, Head of Product Development at Sagentia, also pointed out the speed with which the original FreeHand prototype was created, with the project starting in October 2007 and delivered in April 2008.
The device was launched in June this year at the congress of the European Association for Endoscopic Surgery and was applauded by Philippe Grange, consultant urological surgeon at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.