May 17, 2020

Robot completes first bladder construction

2 min
The da Vinci Surgical System
By MatthewStaff Ken Harries, 61 has thanked surgeons at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, UK after an operation back in October has given him a full bill...

By Matthew Staff

Ken Harries, 61 has thanked surgeons at Southmead Hospital in Bristol, UK after an operation back in October has given him a full bill of health once again, with minimal scars to show for it.

Mr Harries was diagnosed with Bladder cancer last May, and despite being offered the usual invasive surgery to remove the necessary damage, his confidence in his consultant, Dr Edward Rowe, persuaded him to opt for a previously untested procedure.

“I suppose I was a little bit shocked when they said I’d be the first but that soon disappeared and after discussions with the wife it was a very simple choice,” the father of two said.

“The only way I could look at the cancer was to say ‘I am going to beat this’, and I am so glad I decided to go through with the operation.”


The da Vinci robot was first used in 2008 to implement prostate removals, at the expense of £1.5 million. Since then, the device has carried out over 600 operations, aiding surgeons in cystectomys and nephrectomys which is the partial removal of kidneys.

This was the first of its kind involving work on the bladder however, with the procedure consisting of small incisions, and recreating the structure of the bladder by using some of Mr Harries’s own bowel tissue.

“Having removed the bladder containing the tumour, we reconstruct a new bladder from the patient’s own bowel and attach this internally to the patient’s urethra, allowing them to pass urine normally,” explained Dr Rowe, who navigated the robot from a nearby pod.

The major advantage of the da Vinci robot is its ability to carry out the operation at very small discomfort to the patient.

'Traditionally this is a major operation...but we hope that by using this minimal access route we can decrease the trauma to the patient, enabling them to obtain a faster recovery and return to normal activity,” Dr Rowe continued.

“Patients can be home from hospital following this type of surgery within four to seven days and in six to eight weeks they can return to a normal quality of life.”

And following his complete recovery and return to work within four months of his operation, Mr Harries is certainly likely to be recommending further procedures to be carried out by this medical gadget.

“When you consider what the team sounds almost science-fiction, but now I feel as though nothing has changed.”

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Jun 24, 2021

Jvion launches AI-powered map to tackle mental health crisis

2 min
Jvion's new interactive map uses AI to predict areas most vulnerable to poor mental health

Clinical AI company Jvion has launched an interactive map  of the US that highlights areas that are most vulnerable to poor mental health. 

The Behavioral Health Vulnerability Map uses Jvion's AI CORE™ software to analyse public data on social determinants of health (SDOH)  and determine the vulnerability of every US Census block group. 

Vulnerability refers to the likelihood that residents will experience issues like self-harm, suicide attempts or overdoses. The map also identifies the most influential social determinants in each region, to show the social and environmental conditions that contribute to mental illness. 

As an example, the map shows that Harrison County in Mississippi has a 50% higher suicide rate than the rest of the state. It also shows a high percentage of individuals in the armed forces at a time when active duty suicides are at a six-year high, along with a high prevalence of coronary artery disease, arthritis, and COPD, all chronic illnesses that are linked to a higher suicide risk.  

The map also shows Harrison County has a high percentage of Vietnamese Americans, who studies suggest have high rates of depression and may be less likely to seek help from mental health professionals. 

The map was built using the same data and analytics that Jvion used to create the COVID Community Vulnerability Map, which was launched towards the start of the pandemic. 

With this new map, Jvion is aiming to tackle the growing mental health crisis in the US. “At a time when so many Americans are struggling with their mental health, we’re proud to offer a tool that can help direct treatment resources to the communities that need it most,” said Dr John Showalter, MD, Jvion’s chief product officer, who led the development of the map. 

“For too long, the healthcare industry has struggled to address social determinants of health, particularly in the context of behavioural health. Our hope is that by surfacing the social and environmental vulnerabilities of America’s communities, we can better coordinate our response to the underlying conditions that impact the health and wellbeing of people everywhere.” 

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