MERITS of Pittsburgh is harnessing and extending robotics and information technologies to deliver superior healthcare, and linking them to other strong regional efforts in bioengineering, tissue engineering, imaging and visualization, assisted living and preventative medicine, and clinical outcomes measurement. Together with partners in technology development, clinical practice and industry, MERITS covers the spectrum from research to clinical practice that will result in improved prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care.

Carnegie Mellon’s Medical Robotics Technology Center (MRTC), a MERIT Technology Center, pursues research and development in the areas of computer-assisted surgery, medical devices and surgical instrumentation, bio-MEMS, computer aided image analysis and visualization; bone tissue engineering; and robotics for rehabilitation and assisted living.

The Institute for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery (ICAOS), a MERIT Clinical Center at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital focuses on clinical application of robotics, biomechanics and information technology for adult reconstructive orthopaedic surgery. By emphasizing collaborations between physicians and researchers, the development of innovative technologies is tightly integrated with clinical practice. The resulting tools not only improve patient outcomes but also directly relate those outcomes to quantitative measurements of surgical technique.

The third component of MERITS is the Commercial Affiliates Program, a regional economic development initiative. In order to fully realize the promise of these new technologies and techniques, the commercialization of these devices and the education of doctors, surgeons and other healthcare deliverers is vital. We make these tools available to a broad base so that more patients can benefit. This cluster of groups and companies includes BoneCraft, CASurgica, Karl Storz, McKesson Automation, Microvision, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, and Verimetra.

We anticipate that additional MERIT Technology and Clinical Centers will emerge to pursue new opportunities and technologies.