Minnesota Patent of the Month – January 2023

ConvergAscent LLC has created an innovative endoscope system that promises to revolutionize the way doctors and specialists perform internal examinations and diagnoses. The technology is focused on addressing the issue of “dirty” endoscopes without compromising handling performance or affordability while enabling both manual and robotic control. 

Endoscopes have repeatedly made the ECRI Institute’s list of top ten health technology hazards. They make the list so often because, as a reusable medical device, flexible endoscopes are incredibly complex devices, and consequently, they’re some of the most difficult to clean properly between patients. ConvergAscent is set on redefining flexible endoscopes, redesigning certain aspects to make them easier to clean.

Their design comprises a flexible endoscope with a deflectable distal end and a proximal end that can be connected to a handle. The handle is equipped with a computer configured to manipulate physical properties of the endoscope by driving a plurality of electro-mechanical actuators in response to command inputs from the haptic devices. The computer also creates a digital 3D image representation of the anatomy model and facilitates handling properties of the endoscope by adjusting its torsional and bending stiffness characteristics.

What sets this endoscope system apart from traditional endoscopes is the integration of inertial measurement units (IMUs) at both the distal and proximal ends of the endoscope. These IMUs provide the computer with information on the position and orientation of the endoscope, enabling the computer to dynamically and automatically adjust the endoscope’s kinematic outputs in response to changes in its path through the body. The computer also provides haptic feedback to the haptic devices, allowing for a more intuitive and natural feel when operating the endoscope.

The invention of this new endoscope system by ConvergAscent is a major breakthrough in the field of medical endoscopy. Its innovative features promise to make endoscopy procedures faster, more accurate, and more intuitive for medical professionals.

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