“Every year in the United States (US), more than 60 million surgical procedures are performed, of which 20 million are invasive.1 This means, more than 100 procedures are performed every minute. In the US alone, the surgical market is estimated to be 1 trillion USD.2
However, on the global scale, demand outstrips supply. It is estimated that 5 billion people lack access to safe and timely surgery. Every year, 18.6 million people die due to lack of access to surgical care.3
Digital surgery, the next frontier of surgery, is defined as the convergence of surgical technology, real-time data and intelligence. Following previous waves of disruption, which saw the transition from open to laparoscopic surgery, and from laparoscopic surgery to robotic surgery, the digital paradigm in surgery is bringing unprecedented changes to the century-old field. Up to now, continuous improvements in surgical tools have allowed for technically improved procedures − smaller incisions, translating to reduced patient recovery times; better access to deep and angled spaces within the body; more precise maneuvers; and 3D visualization. The power of linked data and advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are beginning to make a real impact in the way surgeries are performed, reducing well-documented variability in surgical process and outcomes.
Companies, investors, surgeons and health systems are racing to accelerate the digitization of surgery in order to dramatically improve patient outcomes whilst reducing cost and inefficiencies; improve patient access; reduce inequities between populations; improve quality; and deliver more personalized surgical care. With increased funding pressures across global health systems and the introduction of value-based care in some markets, stakeholders across the public and private sectors view digital surgery as the next apex in surgery.
1. Total surgical volume derived from summation of ambulatory surgical and inpatient surgical volume. Ambulatory surgical volume derived from: Hall, M.J. et al., Ambulatory Surgery Data From Hospitals and Ambulatory Surgery Centers: United States, 2010. National Health Statistics Reports 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr102.pd; Inpatient surgical volume derived from: Intuitive Surgical, Q4 2018 Investor Presentation. Retrieved from: https://isrg.gcs-web.com/static-files/8afb7980-4820-41ff-bfa4-b3f82ce4111a. Retrieved on 20 Nov 2018.
2. Munoz, E. et al., National and Surgical Health Care Expenditures, 2005–2025. Ann Surg 2010;251:195–200.
3. World Bank. Global Surgery 2030, Report Overview. Retrieved from http://www.lancetglobalsurgery.org/. 15 October 2018
Digital Surgical Education:
Stanford’s Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center. General Surgery Research Initiatives.
“The Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (T.E.C.I.) Center is a multidisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to the design and implementation of advanced engineering technologies that facilitate data acquisition relating to clinical performance.
The T.E.C.I. team has had great success in quantifying physicians’ clinical experiences using sensor, video, and motion tracking technologies. This work has resulted in an information rich database that enables empirical evaluation of clinical excellence and medical decision making.
By leveraging highly specific and objective clinical performance metrics, the T.E.C.I. Center is harnessing the unique opportunity to support peer to peer data sharing and clinical collaborations that can transform the clinical workflow and ultimately benefit healthcare providers.
The T.E.C.I. Center aims to transform human health and welfare through advances in data science and personalized, technology-based performance metrics for healthcare providers.”
Surgeons Revolutionizing Medical Education:
Prof. Shafi Ahmed: “The quantified Surgeon”
Watch his talk the the Exponential Medicine Conference here: An Avatar in your O.R., Redefining Human Interaction in Surgery