Sick Kids to create pediatric surgical
TORONTO – Southern Ontario will
strengthen its position as a leading centre for medical research and see
new jobs created with the development of the KidsArm robotic surgical
system, the first pediatric technology of its kind in the world.
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and
Technology and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern
Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a $10 million investment from
Canada’s Economic Action Plan at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
The Centre for Image-Guided Innovation & Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI),
SickKids’ cutting-edge medical, engineering and research centre, will
develop KidsArm in partnership with MDA, Philips and other companies.
KidsArm is an image-guided medical robot designed for paediatric
patients, which enables surgeons to safely and efficiently perform less
invasive surgical procedures and cut down the average time of procedures
by up to 90 percent.
“At SickKids we encourage innovations that translate knowledge from the
lab into clinical practice,” said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of
SickKids. “This project is a prime example of how research and
technology can be transformed into clinical applications, which lead to
improved health outcomes for our children.”
“The mission of our Centre is to imagine, innovate and provide health
care differently from today,” said Dr. Peter C. W. Kim, Director of
CIGITI, Paediatric General Surgeon and Senior Associate Scientist in
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at SickKids, and Professor of Surgery
at the University of Toronto.
“With this critical and timely investment from the federal government,
we plan to develop the next generation of surgical robots, medical
imaging and simulation technologies for the care of children and babies.
This investment will help transform healthcare and education through
innovative technology development while building intellectual capability
and economic capacity in Ontario and in Canada.”
Funding for this project will come from the Southern Ontario Development
Program and will go towards purchasing the core foundation equipment
that will be adapted for KidsArm. This project is expected to create
more than 80 research, engineering and manufacturing jobs at the Centre
and partnering companies who will provide the imaging, robotic and
Once complete, SickKids will commercialize the technology to generate
revenues that will be re-invested to further research at the Hospital,
helping to sustain innovation over the long term.
The project is also funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation
(CFI), Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) and SickKids
• KidsArm is being developed by the team at the Centre for Image-Guided
Innovation & Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI) at SickKids. CIGITI’s
vision is to bring together surgeons, engineers and software developers
from universities and businesses to develop innovative technologies in
robotic and minimally invasive surgery. CIGITI is divided into three
research themes: imaging, robotics and simulation. (For more
information, visit www.CIGITI.com)
• KidsArm will be the first robotic surgical arm in the world
specifically designed for paediatric surgery. It will be capable of
working in small and delicate spaces, under supervised image guidance.
It will offer enhanced dexterity and precision, resulting in time
savings both in surgery and in treatment.
• KidsArm will enable surgeons to quickly navigate to the treatment
region, avoid dangerous structures such as blood vessels and quickly
perform certain procedures.
• It will be able to perform procedures such as anastomosis (suturing
vessels, tissues, etc.) at a rate that is at least 10 times faster than
• KidsArm is a tabletop surgical tool for minimally invasive operations
that will be operated by medical personnel using a pair of hand
• KidsArm has a unique tip tool designed for automated movement under
• This image-guided, MRI-compatible robot aims to increase surgical
efficiency, safety, accessibility and patient care through supervised
image guidance, pre-operative planning, fused intra-operative imaging (MRI,
ultrasound and endoscope) and dexterous tools.
• Integrated imaging combines elements of magnetic resonance (MR),
ultrasound and video to create a smarter 3D image for better real- time
• KidsArm creates virtual reality-based models used in surgical planning
• The technology development and subsequent commercialization of KidsArm
is expected to have broad and significant impacts to Ontario and to
• Creating intellectual property assets that can be licensed or used for
• Generating high-value manufacturing jobs
• Producing healthcare and research opportunities
• Developing educational programs for a wide range of learners from high
school students to medical staff
• KidsArm is a new surgical platform that will be used across many
paediatric surgical specialties, including cardiac surgery,
neurosurgery, fetal surgery, urosurgery and general surgery.
Posted March 11, 2010