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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R013977/1
Title: LoCoMoTE: Low Cost Morphable Teleoperated Endoscope for Gastric Intestinal Tract Screening
Principal Investigator: Liu, Dr H
Other Investigators:
Jiang, Professor X Hayee, Dr B Mahmoodi, Dr T
Wang, Professor S Dohler, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Informatics
Organisation: Kings College London
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 February 2018 Ends: 31 January 2021 Value (£): 996,825
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Mobile Computing Robotics & Autonomy
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Nov 2017 EPSRC GCRF Diagnostics, Prosthetics and Orthotics panel November 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Existing technologies are unable to meet China's endoscopic gastrointestinal (GI) screening needs, due to its large, aging population, insufficient infrastructure and high incidence of GI cancers. To address this challenge, we propose a novel and low cost soft endoscope, together with high-speed wireless communications to create a way to perform regular endoscopic screening programs in China.

The soft endoscope will be able propel itself inside torturous, compliant environments, such as the human gastrointestinal tract, and dramatically reduce the pain associated with conventional endoscopes. Because of the self-propelling feature and the inherent safety of using soft material, the new endoscope can be operated by non-specialist staff with minimal training and be supervised or even controlled remotely by specialist clinicians with wireless communication. The endoscope will be operated by clinicians via a custom made haptic interface. The endoscope itself will be made to be low cost and disposable. Therefore, this will enable rural medical clinics to run regular endoscopic screening programs with the system, as it will require no additional sterilisation facilities and will be easy to learn to use.

To facilitate adoption and to provide support for rural clinicians, the endoscope will be connected to a high-speed 5G wireless that will enable haptic tele-operation. Through this, expert clinicians in large hospitals all over the country will be able to monitor and directly control screening procedures from any location. Experts will therefore be able to train rural clinicians in techniques by physically demonstrating them, support rural clinics to ensure accurate diagnosis and allow experts to perform more complex procedures remotely. Aligning well with China's strategy of starting 5G commercial applications in 2020, this approach is timely and takes advantage of the wide-spread availability of wireless internet in China and deals directly with the challenges faced by efforts to create large-scale endoscopic screening programs in the country.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Summary
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