Improvements in pre-natal nutrition, care and diagnostic imaging has reduced incidence of fetal defects. Previously, fetal defects that were detected early could not be treated easily as tools and techniques did not exist. As such, parents would have to wait until their babies were born to be treated which meant certain conditions became much more severe. Advances in fetal medicine have enabled clinicians to treat congenital fetal defects in-utero whereby allowing the fetus to heal and develop naturally prior to birth. However, many of these procedures are quite invasive and complex for both the mother and unborn baby. Thus, this is an exciting opportunity for robotics and computer vision to explore.
The goals of this workshop are:

  1. Identify and explore the clinical challenges for in-utero fetal intervention – we will have a series of clinical presentations by maternal medicine clinicians and surgeons on fetal conditions such as open spina bifida, cardiac defects, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and twin-twin-transfusion syndrome
  2. Learn about the latest developments in robotics, surgical tool and computer vision – a group of experts in robotics, surgical tools and computer vision will present their latest research that could be applied to fetal surgery
  3. Brainstorm about problems and challenges to advance fetal medicine with robotics – the workshop will feature a roundtable discussion about challenges, issues and barriers to developing and translating technology to clinical use.

The workshop will also feature a demo session with maternal-fetal model and a poster session for researchers/trainees to share their work (based on participant interest).


The programme will be posted in May 2024.

Learning Outcomes

The overall goal is to teach attendees about the current state of in-utero fetal surgery and the latest in surgical robotic and computer vision research. The workshop attendees will learn about the following:

  • Clinical background of fetal defects such as open spina bifida, cardiac defects, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and twin-twin-transfusion syndrome
  • Clinical challenges and limitations of current tools and techniques through a hands-on demo with a state of the arm training model
  • Advances in minimally invasive surgical and robotic tools ]
  • Advances in computer vision research

Full Day Workshop (09:00 – 17:00)


This workshop is accredited for 6 CPD points.






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