A Custom LLM Journey - Starting with Neurosurgical Intelligence.....

Tech news release (January 2024): We here announce our beta Generative Retrained Syntax (GRS)-AI, a model aligned specifically for neurosurgical consultation at this time. One of the pioneers in incorporating custom AI in surgical technologies, such as the SmartForceps System, we recognize the potential of large generative models in research and in the operating room or in medicine at large. Our goal is to build a reliable system that can bring better standardization of care while being safe. With the model presently undergoing expert assessment and validation, we are pleased to share that the quality of the response exceeds other models in the area. We are committed to advance the field of task-specific large language models in neurosurgery, neurology and beyond. 

 The model was trained using a multi-stage procedure. On top of the 13B LLaMa 2 architecture, a ‘second pre-training’ with 40B tokens for 2 epochs was performed for a total of 80 billion training tokens. About 30-40% of this textual data was medical, with remaining data from open-source chat datasets to allow the model to retain some of its original capabilities. The data was extracted from highly curated medical journals with high citation indices, and select textbooks. Novel PDF clustering/mining algorithms were used to extract paper data. Natural language processing techniques were used to augment and clean this data into textbook quality. 

 A supervised fine-tuning step was performed with ~5,000 data points, the majority being human labeled data, to achieve strong stability and task alignment. Finally, small adjustments to formatting and model response were performed using low-rank adapters on specialized alignment datasets. The model has been rigorously evaluated and refined by input from world-class neurosurgeons, challenged multiple times for accuracy and acceptability of response, and productionized through several iterations (Illustration below).

                                                GRS diagram.drawio copy

Read more

SmartForceps System Lift-Off

January 2023 saw OrbSurgical team expanding clinical use of the SmartForceps System going live at the neurosurgical OR at the University of Alberta (UofA) Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Without the continued efforts of everyone involved this would not have been possible. In particular sincere thanks to the openness and enthusiasm of UofA neurosurgery team for pushing the norm and being part of this home-grown rapidly evolving digital innovation journey.

As we advance our prospective multi-centre trial on the SmartForceps System with more sites across Canada joining, this marks the beginning of a future of digital health solutions, and utility of data-science and Ai in patient care. Please stay tuned.....

Read more


With the approval from Health Canada for technology trials within Canada, OrbSurgical is well on its way to site the SmartForceps System in 3 Canadian neurosurgical operating rooms, and continue its march towards big data and AI in immortalizing surgeons and surgical performance. Through a secure global network of surgical data repository and AI analytics in perpetuity, the technology introduces the theme of standardized surgical care and practices.

Pathway to USA, Europe and Asia are being streamlined through appropriate regulatory steps.

Read more

OrbSurgical Ltd. Partners with Microsoft

OrbSurgical Ltd. is proud to announce a consolidated partnership with Microsoft Corporation in March 2021! In keeping with OrbSurgical’s digital innovation, data-driven interfaces, cloud computing, and use of AI to advance the performance and training of surgery, this partnership marks a cornerstone in the company’s expanding collaboration and efforts to improve health care. Indeed, the partnership truly fosters OrbSurgical’s global strategy whereby surgeons and surgical care are connected together through a secure, unified, and regulatory compliant body such as Microsoft Corporation, helping dissolve boundaries and nurture inclusivity.

Thank you, Microsoft!  

Read more

Most Recent Patents

2021 marks entry and expansion of OrbSurgical team into the digital space of future forward surgical solutions. Working with Jones Day, San Diego USA, a dominant leadership in digital innovation has been achieved:

US Appln. No.: 17/318,975.  Machine Learning-Based Surgical Instrument Characterization. Filed May 12, 2021, by Jones Day, San Diego, CA, USA/ Awarded September 2, 2021

US Appln. No.: 17/344,813. Machine Learning for Interconnected Surgical Theater Architecture. Filed June 10, 2021, by Jones Day, San Diego, CA, USA/Awarded November 15, 2021

US Appln. No.: 17/540,966. Machine Learning-Assisted Surgery. Filed December 2, 2021, by Jones Day, San Diego, CA, USA (Patent pending).

Bipolar forceps with Force Measurement (Awarded April 27, 2021)

Microsurgery-specific haptic hand controller (Patent Pending)

Anti-tau antibody and uses thereof

Read more

Recognition for Innovation

President & CEO, Founder of OrbSurgical Dr. Garnette Sutherland receives the Governor General Innovation Award 2019! View the full article here

Dr. Garnette Sutherland receives the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal 2015! - View the full article here

Dr. Garnette Sutherland, the neuroArm technology and institutional partners (Canadian Space Agency, MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates, IMRIS Inc., and University of Calgary) get inducted into the Space technology Hall of Fame 2014! - View the full article here

Read more

Developing now…

  • OrbSurgical team is advancing digital innovation and IP protection in the field of intelligent surgical device-systems.
  • neroArmPlusHD Assembly and electromechanical set-up ongoing.
  • Alberta-Innovates GrowthX Alumni OrbSurgical team steps up customer acquisition-consolidation for pilot trials in Canadian sites following regulatory processes.

Read more


OrbSurgical thanks Alberta Innovates for timely and generous support in accelerating the journey of SmartForceps System, from and beyond Calgary (2021)!

OrbSurgical receives funding support from NRC-IRAP towards the build of the neuroArmPLUS surgical robotic system (November 2019). The funding approved for three years, will support recruitment of talented engineers and staff, as well as contractors towards completion of the robotic system.

The 2017 Alberta Germany Collaboration Funds (German Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research) and linked support have allowed OrbSurgical to bring the SmartForceps technology in the market.

Read more

Build in (Calgary – Alberta) Canada

With an expansive and orbital vision of improving patient care through innovative and smart technologies, OrbSurgical bolsters its roots in home turf, fostering local and global collaboration – Towards sustainable economy and future!

Read more