Russian Wealth Fund Invests in Domestic Developer of Surgical Robots With AI System

Sputnik, 09.11.2019

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has completed the first round of investments in a Russian developer and manufacturer of innovative Assisted Surgical Technologies (AST) robots, which may be included in the compulsory medical insurance system.

"RDIF announces the completion of the first round of investment in Assisted Surgical Technologies (AST)," the fund said on the sidelines of the AI Journey forum in Moscow.

Such robots will reduce the cost of surgical operations by about five times compared to foreign counterparts due to advanced solutions and the Russian model's compact design. The production of pilot prototypes will be organised at domestic enterprises. It is expected that the quality of robotic surgery will increase significantly due to the introduction of digital applications, including artificial intelligence, as well as remote robot control systems.

AST expects to occupy up to 50 percent of the domestic market in such types of medical services as abdominal, gynaecological and urological surgery. The issue of including the Russian robot in the compulsory medical insurance system and replacing part of laparoscopic operations with robotic surgery is being actively studied. The company plans to enter the Chinese and other Asian markets, as well as supply the equipment to the Middle East and Europe.

"The development of surgical robots based on artificial intelligence using unique technological solutions will allow AST to ensure the production of equipment superior to foreign competitors, realise the export potential of products on the world market and increase the level of medical care and the availability of new technologies for the population. RDIF investments are aimed at achieving the national healthcare project's goals, as well as import substitution of foreign medical equipment," the statement read, citing RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev.

Investments were made as part of the Investment Lift mechanism to promote the accelerated development of medium-sized non-oil companies with export potential.