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ROPCA Ultrasound

About one percent of Danes suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.The ROPCA Ultrasound robot was developed to be used for the diagnosis and evaluation of rheumatoid arthritis (also deep vein thrombosis), so patients could have their hands scanned at every visit. The doctor could then better follow developments in the disease and treatment.


Start: Spring 2017
End: 2020 (the finished robot came on the
market in 2022)

The robot consists of an arm mounted on a table with a glass plate where the patient places the hand for scanning. The robot has sensors that feel the hand in order to scan the right places without pressing too hard. It then stores and analyses data using artificial intelligence and gives a score for the arthritis activity.


The robot should ensure a systematic and uniform method for performing ultrasound scans, thereby giving doctors the best possible starting point for determining treatment. Such a systematic scan is not possible today as regards time, and the doctors' manual scan is not as accurate or systematic.

The robot is programmed using PbD (Programming by Demonstration) to be able to transfer the movements from the experienced doctor to the automated robot. It enables complete automation of the robot with movement patterns from a human operator - unlike a robot that is manually controlled by a human operator.


The project and development of the robot was redirected to the company Ropca Holding APS, founded by Søren Just Andreasen, MD and specialist in rheumatology, and Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu, professor in healthcare robotics and Research Manager at CCR. There, the technology was further developed into a finished product that could be used in the analysis and treatment of arthritis.

The technology has the potential to be used for other types of ultrasound scans. In the future, it may also be possible to use it for the diagnosis of other diseases, for example in the cardiology department or in the Emergency Department.

The first CE-marked product entered the market in 2022.

Since February 2024, the robot has been in use at Svendborg Hospital. In April 2024, DR wrote an article about its implementation at the hospital.


The project originated at the Department of Internal Medicine and Acute Medicine at OUH Svendborg Hospital.

The development took place at SDU Robotics and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, SDU in collaboration with the Centre for Innovative Medical Technology (CIMT).

Enabled Robotics ApS, Denmark also contributed to the development.


The project was funded by Energi Fyn, SDU Robotics and SDU when it was appointed a lighthouse project.

Today, the further development of the robot takes place in the company Ropca Holding Aps.

Søren Andreas Just

Søren Andreas Just

Chief Consultant

Department of Medicine, Svendborg

(+45) 63 20 25 06
Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu

Thiusius Rajeeth Savarimuthu

Professor and Research Manager

Centre for Clinical Robotics

(+45) 24 40 95 45