Deep learning robotic guidance for autonomous vascular access


Medical robots have demonstrated the ability to manipulate percutaneous instruments into soft tissue anatomy while working beyond the limits of human perception and dexterity. Robotic technologies further offer the promise of autonomy in carrying out critical tasks with minimal supervision when resources are limited. Here, we present a portable robotic device capable of introducing needles and catheters into deformable tissues such as blood vessels to draw blood or deliver fluids autonomously. Robotic cannulation is driven by predictions from a series of deep convolutional neural networks that encode spatiotemporal information from multimodal image sequences to guide real-time servoing. We demonstrate, through imaging and robotic tracking studies in volunteers, the ability of the device to segment, classify, localize and track peripheral vessels in the presence of anatomical variability and motion.