Distributed by Healthcare Company Device Technologies, the purchase will be a huge win for Victoria’s hospital system, expanding the existing Epworth fleet of three third generation platforms to six fourth generation systems across four hospitals. This will be the second upgrade and expansion of Epworth’s da Vinci Surgery program since 2003, when they purchased the first da Vinci Standard system in Australia.
Robotic technology is becoming an increasingly common site in Epworth hospitals, ranging from surgical da Vinci robots in operating theatres to TUG transport robots reducing manual handling across the hospital.
The da Vinci Surgical systems are sophisticated technology platforms, designed to enhance minimally invasive operations. Their design allows surgeons, through 3D vision and wristed instrumentation with intuitive, sensitive motion controls, to reach difficult areas in the human body and carry out complex procedures through minor incisions.
Since 2003, the technology has grown in its application and is now utilised in Urological Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, General Surgery, Gynaecological Surgery and ENT surgery. It was recently used by Dr Ben Dixon, who performed Australia’s first paediatric robotic surgery on six-year-old Freyja Christiansen earlier this year.
The introduction of six more fourth generation da Vinci systems into the Victorian healthcare system was made possible by donations to the Epworth Medical Foundation.
In addition to increasing access to robotic surgery for patients, they will also turn Victoria into a hub for clinical research and robotic training, which will enable more surgeons to learn how to use these robots and apply their skills beyond the operating theatre.
“We were the first to bring da Vinci to this country, we fell behind a little in recent times and now we want to be back at the forefront in terms of technology, access, research and patient outcomes” Epworth said of the sale announcement.
Both Epworth Group Chief Executive, Dr Lachlan Henderson and Device Technologies General Manager for Robotic Surgery, Heath Priestly, said the landmark purchase was an important step forward for Victorian healthcare.
“Our significant investment in da Vinci Surgical technology is consistent with Epworth’s ongoing commitment to deliver quality innovative healthcare to patients in Victoria,” Dr Henderson said.
“Its 15 years since the first patient was treated for Prostate cancer with a da Vinci system at Epworth Hospital in Richmond. All this time later, and it feels like we are just beginning,” added Mr Priestly.
“These 6 new da Vinci systems, all with 4th generation technology, will open up a world of possibilities for clinicians and their patients.”