CMR Surgical adds new tissue imaging tech to Versius robot

CMR Surgical is launching a new imaging technology to help users of its Versius robot visualize the flow of blood through organs during a procedure.

The company’s vLimeLite add-on incorporates a near-infrared fluorescent light that reacts with the injectable medical dye indocyanine green, known as ICG. The CE-marked system aims to highlight blood vessels and tissue perfusion beyond the naked eye, as well as the body’s bile duct anatomy.

“This is the most significant update of Versius since it launched back in 2019,” CEO Supratim Bose said in the company’s announcement. “We have listened to the needs of surgeons, and I’m delighted that we have been able to give them what they want—a best-in-class ICG product that we know will make a real difference for their patients.”

The system will first be installed at Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals NHS Trust in the U.K. for use in upper gastrointestinal surgery procedures. CMR said it plans to roll out vLimeLite first in the U.K., Ireland and Hong Kong before obtaining additional regulatory approvals and expanding globally over the course of this year.

vLimeLite will launch with video overlays that integrate with Versius’ 3D vision and will allow the surgeon to toggle between green, cyan and grayscale ICG viewing modes.

“I think what is really special is the overlay mode option, which means Versius surgeons will be able to use our integrated ICG system while continuing to view in full color with the same video quality,” said Mark Slack, CMR co-founder and chief medical officer. “vLimeLite truly allows surgeons to see what was once invisible to them.”

In January, CMR reported what it described as its strongest quarter on record, in terms of system placements and procedures performed. Over the course of the full 12 months of 2023, the company said its install base grew 50% over 2022’s tally, with surgery counts growing more than 60% to a total of more than 17,000 since Versius’ launch.

The numbers follow expansions in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The company also said it plans to launch new instrumentation options and digital software for Versius in 2024.

Late last year, CMR opened a new manufacturing facility near its home in Cambridge, U.K., that it says has the capacity to produce up to 500 Versius systems per year.