ARTAS Hair Studio - Bernstein Medical - Center for Hair Restoration
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Dr. Robert M. Bernstein were guest speakers in the ARTAS webcast series where they discussed “What’s New in Robotic FUE”. In this live webinar, conducted by Restoration Robotics, Dr. Bernstein spoke to over 100 fellow surgeons and their staff on advances in robotic hair transplantation and led a Q and A session about the ARTAS Robotic System following the presentation. The main topics of discussion were the four key areas of the Robotic FUE procedure that are improved by the ARTAS 9x; increased speed, accuracy, and functionality, and advances in the use of artificial intelligence.

To hear what Dr. Bernstein had to say, watch the archived video (registration required).

Increased Speed

The ARTAS 9x is 20% faster than the ARTAS 8x and has a dissection cycle of less than two seconds. This new upgrade also allows for graft dissection and extraction to be performed simultaneously, increasing the speed of the procedure. Prior versions of the ARTAS robot used a red LED light which was too harsh on the human eye. The ARTAS 9x has a white LED light that allows grafts to be removed from scalp at the same time that the robot proceeds with the excision of additional grafts. The newest version of the robot uses a yellow tensioner, rather than the previous white one, enabling the robotic optical system to identify the tensioner from a greater distance. This eliminates the two manual commands needed to put the arm into position and, thus, increases the speed of the procedure.

ARTAS 9x - White vs Red LED LightPrevious versions of the robot used a red LED light (left), ARTAS 9x uses a white light (right)

Increased Accuracy

The ARTAS 9x provides physicians the option of using smaller needles with the addition of a 0.8mm needle. The smaller needle reduces scarring and enables more precise graft extraction.

“Compared to other versions of the ARTAS Robot, there is a dramatically less need for the physician to make modifications to the ARTAS 9x system. It seemed like we were driving a stick shift car, where now much of it is automatic.”

– Dr. Bernstein

Increased Functionality

Physical improvements to the robot include a smaller robotic head, improved headrest, new harvesting halo, and a robotic arm extender. The new 9x has a smaller head that allows the robot to move around the patient to approach their scalp at a more acute angle. This allows the angle of site making to go down to 30 degrees and harvesting down to 35 degrees. The site making headrest of the 9x does not include the protruding edges found in the 8x. This gives clearance for the robot to have more site making options. The new harvesting halo also places less downward pressure on the patient’s head with tension being more lateral but just as effective in stabilizing the scalp for precise excision. The 9x has an extender that allows the arm to more easily reach around the sides of the patient’s head without having to reposition the patient.

Use of Artificial Intelligence

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the 9x Robot leads to greater consistency and speed. AI aspects found in the ARTAS 9x include automatic collision recovery, empty site warning, automatic scar detection and new ARTAS Hair Studio technology. The motion sensor is in the arm where it attaches to head and the screen shows the physician what is happening in real-time so the position of the robotic can be adjusted easily.

Dr. Bernstein said:

“The ARTAS 8x required 6 steps to accomplish this; the 9x has a one-touch system with one button that retracts the head back to the neutral position.”

ARTAS 9x - Improved Scar DetectionARTAS 9x detects and blocks harvesting from areas with scarring

The ARTAS has a new empty site warning capability that signals the physician to make adjustments when the harvesting is sub-optimal. The ARTAS 9x also has an automatic scar detection function that allows the robot to detect areas with low or no hair density so that these areas can be automatically blocked from further harvesting. This feature is particularly useful in cases where there is significant scarring from prior surgery. There have also been advances made to the ARTAS Hair Studio. In 9x, only one photo is needed to create a 3D image of the patient’s scalp as opposed to the prior iterations that required up to five.

It is important to keep in mind that these improvements work together to increase the overall speed, accuracy and efficiency of Robotic FUE procedures.

Bernstein Medical and the ARTAS Robot

In 2011, Bernstein Medical became one of the first practices in the world to use the computer-driven technology of the ARTAS Robotic System in FUE hair transplant procedures. They have played an important role in the development of the technology ever since. Bernstein Medical is a beta-testing site for new enhancements and features to the ARTAS robot and Dr. Bernstein is on the Medical Advisory Board to Restoration Robotics, the company that makes the ARTAS robot.

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Q: What is the difference between the ARTAS 9x and the earlier versions of the robot? — T.J. ~ Washington, D.C.

A: The differences can be grouped into four broad categories:

1. Speed: The 9x is 20% faster than the 8x. This is achieved through the ARTAS robot’s ability to more quickly and accurately align with the follicles, faster movement from follicular unit to follicular unit while harvesting, and a shortened dissection cycle (less than 2 seconds). In addition, the 9x uses white LED lights instead of red, which permits an increased work flow from the ability to simultaneously incise and extractions grafts. The decreased strain on the eyes from the white lights (compared to red) makes this possible.

2. Accuracy: The 9x uses smaller needles that minimize wounding and donor scarring. It is especially useful for patients with fine hair or those who want to keep their hair short.

3. Functionality: The robotic arm on the 9x has a 1-inch base extender that gives the machine a longer reach and decreases the need for the patient to be repositioned. The ARTS 9x also has a smaller robotic head allowing the robot to harvest the grafts at a more acute angle. The ARTAS 9x also allows for more site making options due to the universal blade holder and the ability to program a change in the orientation of the incision in different regions of the scalp. The ARTAS 9x also uses a new harvesting halo to secure the tensioner (the grid-like device that indicates where the robot should harvest) which is faster to apply and more comfortable for the patient.

4. Use of Artificial Intelligence: The technology notifies the physician early-on if the harvesting is not precise, so that action can be taken to ensure most effective results. The ARTAS software can now detect areas with low (or no) hair density and prevent those areas from being over-harvested. This also decreases human error and saves time by automatically blocking these areas with low density. Finally, the ARTAS Hair Studio, can now create a 3-D image of the patient’s head with only one photo (as opposed to the prior requirement of 3 to 5).

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ARTAS 9x - First Commercial Case at Bernstein MedicalFirst ever case with ARTAS 9x at Bernstein Medical – Click to watch video

In April 2017, Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration became the first hair restoration practice to perform robotic hair transplant surgery using the new ARTAS Robotic System 9x. ARTAS 9x is a major upgrade of the hair transplant robot, enabling faster and more precise Robotic FUE procedures.

Some of the hardware improvements to the system include a white light LED, color camera and tensioner, 20-gauge harvesting needle, robotic base extender, new needle mechanism cover, and more comfortable headrest and halo. Software upgrades include better scar detection, faster harvesting, ability to zoom into the main viewing screen, and improved ARTAS Hair Studio software.

Color Camera and White LED Light

The original ARTAS robotic system used a black and white optical system and a red LED light. It used a red light source so that blood on the scalp wouldn’t interfere with the ARTAS algorithms. However, clinical staff found that the red light caused eye fatigue over time.

The new optical system uses color cameras and white LED lights so technicians can extract grafts while the system is still harvesting without risk of eye fatigue. The color cameras also allow the robot to associate colors with shapes increasing the visual sharpness and accuracy of the system.

ARTAS 9x - White vs Red LED LightPrevious versions of the robot used a red LED light (left), ARTAS 9x uses a white light (right)

Assisted Force-Drag

In order for the robot to begin harvesting or site making, it must first align the robotic arm to the grid area defined by a tensioner device. In previous versions of the robot, the robotic arm needed to be manually aligned with the fiducials (indicators) on the top of the tensioner. The new Assisted Force-Drag technology enables the robot to self-align as soon as the fiducials are detected by the optical system. This speeds up the procedure and makes it more efficient by minimizing set-up time between grids.

Robotic Arm Base Extender

Restoration Robotics has modified the robotic arm by adding a base extender in order to achieve a longer reach without increasing the size and weight of the robot itself. The longer reach decreases the need for patient repositioning and chair adjustments and thus decreases the duration of the procedure.

Automatic Scar Detection

ARTAS 9x - Improved Scar DetectionARTAS 9x detects and blocks harvesting from areas with scarring

The ARTAS robotic software can now detect areas with low (or no) hair density and systematically block those areas and that immediately around it from being harvested. The step was done manually in earlier versions. This shortens harvesting time in patients with scarring as it automatically prevents overharvesting in these areas.

Recipient Site Making Blade Holder

Originally, robotic site creation used needles to create recipient sites in the patient’s scalp. However, some physicians prefer to use blades over needles. To address this, Restoration Robotics has developed a blade holder so that surgeons can use either needles or blades. The new blade holder also allows the use of 3rd party blade tips, further enabling the doctor to customize the procedure.

20-Guage Harvesting Needle

The ARTAS 9x robot has the capability of using a very fine 20-guage harvesting needle and punch that permits grafts to be removed though a significantly smaller incision. When appropriate, the use of this needle allows for a harvest with less tissue attached to the grafts. This reduces the need for trimming grafts and speeds up the procedure. It further minimizes the size of the recipient wounds.

Newly Designed Robotic Arm, Headrest, and Halo

The head of the ARTAS robot arm has been reduced in size to increase its mobility and decrease the need for repositioning the patient. This increases patient comfort and shortens the operating time.

An improved site making headrest includes a new, more comfortable pillow with a memory foam layer. The harvesting halo now has rounded edges that allow for secure, faster tensioner placement.

ARTAS Hair Studio

The ARTAS Hair Studio is also improved, now requiring the physician to take just one photo to create the 3D image of the patient’s scalp. With the 9x version of the ARTAS Hair Studio, the surgeon can now zoom in on the user interface screen during recipient site creation and simultaneously examine details and monitor the entire procedure.

Robotic FUE at Bernstein Medical

Bernstein Medical’s Robotic Hair Transplant Center of New York® is among the first facilities in the world to use the ARTAS robot to perform FUE, a procedure pioneered by Dr. Bernstein. Our practice is a beta-test site for this innovative hair restoration technology and Dr. Bernstein is a medical adviser to Restoration Robotics, the company that manufactures the ARTAS robot.

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Dr. Bernstein Presenting at ARTAS® User Group Meeting 2015Dr. Bernstein Presenting at ARTAS User Group Meeting 2015

Dr. Robert M. Bernstein introduced a new capability of the ARTAS® robotic system, “Follicular Unit Graft Selection,” at the ARTAS User Group Meeting on February 7th, 2015 in Newport Coast, CA. He presented the new technology and the preliminary results of a bilateral pilot study of the technique conducted at Bernstein Medical.

In robotic graft selection, the hair restoration surgeon programs the ARTAS robot to harvest follicular units based on the number of hairs in each unit. The robot first selects and then isolates larger follicular units of 2-hairs or more. If too few 1-hair units are extracted, the surgeon can program a second pass at extracting only the smallest grafts. As an alternative, the larger units can be divided into smaller ones using stereo-microscopic dissection. The goal is to both minimize wounding and harvest an adequate distribution of varying size follicular units to satisfy the surgeon’s, and ultimately the patient’s, aesthetic hair restoration needs. The new robotic graft selection system enables the robot to intelligently and efficiently harvest follicular units.

Results of the bilateral pilot study showed that the robot’s new graft selection capability was superior to random graft selection, the robot’s default setting, in the amount of hairs extracted per harvest attempt. Dr. Bernstein described how he was able to generate more transplantable grafts with fewer attempts at harvesting. By splitting larger follicular units into smaller grafts under stereo-microscopic dissection, he was able to produce additional grafts for use in the transplant without causing further wounding.

When the new computerized graft selection capability is coupled with dissection of larger units, the result is a substantial improvement over randomized graft selection. Read more about Robotic Graft Selection and the pilot study.

Dr. Bernstein also updated the meeting attendees on the robot’s recipient site creation technique that he introduced the prior year and some best practices in incorporating the ARTAS Hair Studio software into clinical practice.

Click here to read about Robotic Follicular Unit Graft Selection

Click here to read about Robotic Hair Transplants

ARTAS User Group Meeting 2015

Dr. Bernstein Presenting at ARTAS User Group Meeting 2015
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Dr. Robert M. Bernstein presented the ARTAS Hair Studio™ digital hair transplant design software and robotic recipient site creation using the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant system, each advances in key aspects of hair transplantation, at the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS) annual meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday, October 11th, 2014.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (PRWEB) October 31, 2014 — Robert M. Bernstein, M.D., F.A.A.D., a world-renowned hair transplant pioneer, has presented two advances in robotic hair transplant surgery to the hair restoration industry’s largest conference; an interactive hair restoration design software suite called ARTAS Hair Studio™ and recipient site creation capability in the ground-breaking ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant system. Dr. Bernstein’s presentation highlights the fact that the ARTAS System is the first system to integrate the planning and performance of a hair transplant procedure. Dr. Bernstein presented these new technologies at the 22nd Annual Science Meeting of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgeons (ISHRS) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 11th, 2014.

ISHRS 2014 - 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ISHRS 2014 – 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ARTAS Hair Studio is a planning tool that assists the physician in the design phase of the hair restoration procedure. Dr. Bernstein’s presentation described how this software enables the physician to generate a three-dimensional model of the patient’s head and then create a treatment plan based on parameters such as the number of recipient sites, the angle of elevation of the hairs, and the direction of the hairs. With small modifications of the software, the technology can add “virtual” hair to the 3-D model and allow patients to see how the results will actually look. This will create a more interactive, educational experience for the patient and one that helps align the patient’s expectations with what is possible given their specific hair loss characteristics.

Dr. Bernstein showed how, using the new software, the surgeon can divide the treatment area into two or more sections and then program different recipient site densities for the different areas to closely mimic how hair grows in nature. The treatment plan created using ARTAS Hair Studio can be saved and then imported into the ARTAS hair transplant robot.

Once the design specifications have been imported, the ARTAS Robot can then create the recipient sites, the tiny incisions made in a patient’s scalp, into which transplanted grafts of naturally-occurring groups of 1-4 hairs, called follicular units, are placed.

Recipient Site Creation at Bernstein Medical Using ARTAS Robotic System
Recipient Site Creation at Bernstein Medical Using ARTAS Robotic System

In his presentation to the ISHRS, Dr. Bernstein described several advantages of robotic site creation over manual site creation, including: the elimination of inconsistencies in creating large numbers of recipient sites by hand, precise distribution of follicular unit grafts, automatic adjustment to site densities, and automatic avoidance of existing hairs without sacrificing speed. The robot uses advanced sensory equipment and optical cues to locate potential recipient sites on the scalp and then quickly and accurately make the incisions based on the pre-programmed parameters. The robot can create up to 2,000 recipient sites in approximately one hour.

Dr. Bernstein noted that these advances represent an integration of the design and planning processes with the actual performance of the procedure. Whereas in the past, the doctor would describe the treatment plan to the patient and then manually implement the prescribed plan, today’s computerized robotic system allows the physician to digitally design the hair transplant treatment plan, and then that plan directs the robot in the operating room.

Restoration Robotics Inc., the company that developed the robot, collaborated with Dr. Bernstein, using the Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration facility as a beta-testing site, to upgrade the ARTAS robot and test these and other advances. The ultimate goal is to deliver a robot that will mechanize every surgical aspect of an FUE hair transplant procedure.

About Robert M. Bernstein, MD, MBA, FAAD

Dr. Bernstein’s published articles on follicular unit hair transplant procedures have been called “Bibles” for the industry. He has received the Platinum Follicle Award, the highest honor in the field. He is a fellow of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS). Dr. Bernstein has appeared as a hair restoration expert on many notable television programs and in many news and lifestyle publications over the years. Examples include: The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health Magazine, and more. He is co-author of Hair Loss & Replacement for Dummies. Dr. Bernstein graduated with honors from Tulane University, received the degree of Doctor of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ, and completed his training in Dermatology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Bernstein is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Columbia University.

About Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration

Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration, the facility Dr. Bernstein founded in 2005, is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of hair loss in men and women using the most advanced technologies. The state-of-the-art facility is located in midtown Manhattan, New York City and treats patients from around the globe. In 2011, Bernstein Medical became one of the first practices in the world to offer Robotic FUE procedures using the image-guided, computer-driven technology of the ARTAS Robotic System. Bernstein Medical is a beta-testing site of the robot’s new capability including the creation of recipient sites and Dr. Bernstein is a medical advisor to the company that produces the robotic system, Restoration Robotics, Inc. The board-certified physicians and highly-trained clinical assistants at Bernstein Medical take pride in providing the highest level of treatment and care for all patients.

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Health News DigestDr. Bernstein discusses the breakthrough technology of the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant system — and how the robot has improved since its initial version — in an article in Health News Digest.

Not only is the mainstreaming of the hair transplant robot changing perceptions of surgical hair restoration in the public eye, says author of the article Wendy Lewis, but the robot is increasingly in demand at the leading hair restoration facilities across the country.

In the article, Dr. Bernstein describes how the robot is the latest evolution of the popular Follicular Unit Extraction hair transplant procedure:

According to Robert M. Bernstein, MD, FAAD, founder of Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration in New York City, “Follicular unit extraction (FUE) procedures have progressed from using labor-intensive, hand-held instruments all the way to a computer-assisted, image-guided robot. It dissects follicular units accurately and consistently, thousands of times in a single session.”

ARTAS Robot In Use at Bernstein MedicalARTAS Robot In Use at Bernstein Medical

In a recent interview with Bald Truth’s Spencer Kobren, Dr. Bernstein noted that the impression many physicians have of the FUE robot is of the initial iteration that was launched more than three years ago. In the Health News Digest article, Dr. Bernstein again makes the point that the ARTAS robot of 2014 is better than version 1.0:

“Robotic extraction has been greatly improved since the first machines were introduced over three years ago and the ARTAS robot is now used by over 70 surgeons worldwide,” said Dr. Bernstein. “We are comfortable offering it to patients as the state of the art procedure for permanent hair restoration. […] According to Dr. Bernstein, “With the addition of recipient site creation to the ARTAS Robotic System, we are one step closer to fully-automated robotic hair transplantation.”

Another breakthrough advance of the ARTAS system is the interactive visualization software called ARTAS Hair Studio:

Using actual photos of the patients, the ARTAS Hair Studio software generates a three-dimensional model on a touchscreen tablet, which allows physicians to customize a recipient site pattern design – creating hairlines and specifying hair location, distribution densities and growth directions. It also permits patients to visualize how a simulated number of grafts will appear on the scalp, with the intention of increasing the predictability and confidence of the outcome.

Dr. Bernstein has used the robot for FUE procedures at the state-of-the-art Bernstein Medical – Center for Hair Restoration since the fall of 2011. All FUE procedures at Bernstein Medical are currently performed using the ARTAS system. Bernstein Medical is a beta-testing site for developments to the robot, including several improvements to the punch mechanism, as well as the development of robotic recipient site creation. Dr. Bernstein is an advisor to the company that developed the robot, Restoration Robotics, Inc., out of Mountain View, California. is an 11 year old online magazine that is considered the premier electronic health news network and #1 provider of health news content. It is syndicated to thousands of major health industry websites and journalists in 164 countries. The author of the article is President of Wendy Lewis & Co. Ltd. Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 11 books, and Founder/Editor-in-Chief of

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