FDA Approves Baldness-Battling Hair Robot

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Anti-baldness creams, gels, and the last-resort combover may turn out to be no match for the ARTAS System, which the FDA recently approved for commercial use. The device works via a somewhat unpleasant-sounding process, by "removing permanent hair-bearing skin" so that the follicles can later be "meticulously implanted into the bald or thinning area of the scalp." The blog The Medical News has more details:

The United States regulator, Food and Drugs Administrator (FDA) has approved a machine called the Artas System for commercial use. According to manufacturers Restoration Robotics, Artas is "an interactive, computer assisted system utilizing image-guided robotics to enhance the quality of hair follicle harvesting" by combining "several features including an interactive, image-guided robotic arm, special imaging technologies, small dermal punches and a computer interface." Artas can be used only on patients with straight brown or black hair at this stage.

The system uses its intelligence unit to harvest hair follicles with "image guided robotics" said the company. The system has a chair with a camera equipment that works under the doctor's control. The hair follicles are manually transplanted after being extracted. The company says this system can improve extraction rates to 750 to 1,000 units per hour. This is much quicker and less invasive than traditional harvesting techniques they add.

Read the full story at The Medical News.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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