The first project of Axilum Robotics is the development of a robot to assist psychiatrists and neurologists for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).
TMS is a painless, non invasive medical technique that applies high intensity magnetic impulses to cortex areas by placing a coil on the surface of the head.
It is used as a research tool to gain knowledge of neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms.
There are many potential therapeutic applications, particularly in psychiatry: TMS is currently under clinical evaluation in drug-resistant major depression and auditory hallucinations of schizophrenia.
The idea to develop a robotized solution for TMS came from a discussion in 2004 between Michel de Mathelin, head of the medical robotic research group of LSIIT and Dr Jack Foucher, from INSERM U666 research unit, one of the pioneers of TMS in France (see the list of joint publications of LSIIT and INSERM U666).
Facing the double challenge to ensure precision of stimulation areas and to reproduce identical procedures by patients who need sometime up to 30 sessions, Dr Foucher expressed the need of an automatized stimulation procedure. There was a real need with no robotized solution available.
The automatized procedure offers many advantages including precision, repeatability of TMS sessions, compensation of patient’s motions, ease of use, operator safety and comfort, patient safety, access to large stimulation areas and permanent contact between the patient’s head and the coil monitored by force sensors.
The robot is intended to fit to most existing TMS equipments.
Download the brochure presenting the on-going development of the robot.
Watch demos videos of the TMS assistance robot.