H.18 Automated Intravenous Catheter Placement Device
A punch biopsy is a procedure in dermatology typically carried out by a dermatologist, in which a small sample of skin is removed from the body. This has important diagnostic value particularly for melanoma diagnosis, as well as characterizing rashes. A punch biopsy is typically done by the physician manually and involves using a disposable device (shown below) to apply pressure to the skin and release a piece of skin, then using some forceps and scissors to manually cut the plug of skin and send this off to the pathologist. At times, the plug of skin can get stuck within the long cylindrical punch biopsy device. After this procedure a physician will place 1-2 stitches to close the site. This process often takes a physician between 10-15 mins accounting for the time it takes to numb the patient up as well.
Currently there are no biopsy devices that can be operated without a physician and that are robotic in nature. At present this procedure requires training and expertise and most importantly time. In an ever-evolving field where time has become an asset particularly in high volume clinics with high patient flow, the presence of a self-operable punch biopsy device could be a game changer.
The goal of this project is to design a punch biopsy tool which can be utilized by those with little/ no training and does not require a physician. Furthermore, the goal is to safely carry out a biopsy which can be subsequently sent for pathology analysis, without getting stuck in the biopsy device. This would also change patient outcomes since risk of infection, adverse events would be unified, since it would be a robotic device carrying out the procedure. Furthermore, patient care would also be optimized since such a device cannot experience fatigue, error or stress the same way a human carrying out the procedure can. This would lastly improve clinic flow and allow physicians to spend time with their patients, since the procedure itself would not be time consuming for providers.