Skin & Follice Clinic surgeons L-R. Ken Kok, Reza Nassab, Ali Soueid.

Member Article

Artificial Intelligence Hair Transplant Robot Launched in Birmingham

The first and only hair transplantation robot that uses AI technology and has HD vision launched in Birmingham at the weekend. A first-of-its-kind in the Midlands, the ARTAS droid searches for and identifies prime donor hair then harvests them at a rate three times faster[i] than a traditional manual transplantation procedure.

The state-of-the-art ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplantation System, was unveiled by Birmingham-based Skin and Follicle at the Bullring Shopping Centre on 15th and 16th October, allows visitors to see their new hair in 3D before committing to a transplant. Revolutionary ‘try-before-you-buy’ ARTAS Hair Studio technology uses actual patient photographs to offer several bespoke aesthetic options to choose from – via a rotating 360-degree image – the chosen option then being sent through to the ARTAS robot. The robot creates a map of the hair pattern, ready for the transplant procedure.

The ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplantation System is already very successful in the US. The unique robot uses Artificial Intelligence algorithms to identify strong, good quality hair that can be used as to transplant to other areas. Using such refined algorithms means it is not necessary to remove an entire strip of hair, unlike with traditional hair grafts, resulting in less scarring, no tell-tale bald strip at the back of the head and a much faster recovery time. Each hair is retrieved precisely and the parameter for human error reduced significantly, resulting in a lower rate of transection (where the individual hair is cut horizontally). The unparalleled precision of the robot also means that not only does the pre-existing hair remain undamaged, the new hair follows the natural path of hair growth to the exact angle, resulting in a natural look. The entire transplantation procedure is notably quicker and more accurate than a traditional manual procedure.

Robotic procedures have become more commonplace in the surgical profession over the past decade, with robots undertaking procedures such as prostate surgery, kidney surgery and even basic heart surgery. Surgeon-assisted robotic technology combines experience with technology meaning greater precision, smaller incisions and quicker healing times than with traditional surgery. Human error is also decreased; the robot does not fatigue and can therefore carry out repetitive surgical movements with improved outcomes. The ARTAS is more accurate, more consistent and faster than any surgeon, meaning that the thousandth graft, although completed more quickly, is as high quality as the first.

With 397,048 hair transplantation procedures being carried out annually, worldwide[ii], many people are searching for a quick, minimally invasive hair transplantation option. Hair loss (alopecia) can be caused by medical conditions and medications, as well as hereditary hair loss, which is also known as male or female pattern baldness. Pattern baldness affects half of men over the age of 50 although can occur at any age.

Alopecia can also be caused by medical conditions such as thyroid and autoimmune disorders, as well as by traction, in which the hair is pulled tight; injury and burns. The effects of hair loss are not only physical; they can also have a profound psychological effect on the individual, causing loss of self-confidence and anxiety. The ARTAS robot is suitable for most patients, both male and female, and its HD stereoscopic vision can analyse, monitor and track each hair sixty times a second. Each hair is then transplanted into the thinning areas, with thicker, permanent hair usually noticeable within six months.

Reza Nassab, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Skin & Follicle, says:

“Robot-assisted surgery has a firm place in surgical procedures, coming on leaps and bounds over the past ten years. The fact that Birmingham can now offer robot-assisted hair transplantation means great things for those looking for hair restoration. We are delighted to be able to offer such advanced technology to those who need it, and to have the opportunity to take the ARTAS robot to the public at the Bullring. The event has already garnered a lot of interest, as it gives the public a chance to see what they could look like, thanks to the ARTAS Hair Studio. The ARTAS Robotic Hair Transplantation System is a great advancement, both for those suffering with hair loss for medical reasons and for cosmetic reasons.”

[i] Improving Follicular Transection Rate: Evidence Based Comparison Between Manual, Assisted & Robotic Follicular Unit Extraction techniques – Ken Kok, Reza Nassab, Ali Soueid

[ii] International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery 2015 census.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by David Pacini .

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