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Exploring the Impact of New Technological Advances in Surgery

In this article, we’re going to be exploring the impact of new technological advances in surgery.

The world is full of talented surgeons but, as with anything else, humans in the medical world do make mistakes. Today, new technology is helping to speed up medical diagnoses as well as reduce the risk of surgical errors and other forms of medical negligence.

In this article, we’re exploring the impact of new technological advances in surgery. Let’s delve in…

What Technology is Helping Make Surgical Advances?

In order to get the best sense of how technology is impacting surgery across the world, we need to first look into the types of technologies currently being utilised in day surgery clinics and hospital rooms around the world. From robotics to artificial intelligence, there are some amazing developments currently in play. Some of these are:

Robotics

Once the stuff of science fiction, robotics are now used in many different aspects of our lives, including the world of surgery. Highly advanced robotics can be used to perform complex and intricate surgeries which even the most dexterous of surgeons may struggle with. Robotics also help to speed up surgeries and increase accuracy, thereby giving the patient a better chance of a smoother recovery.

On top of this, the use of robotics in surgery is also considered to be significantly less invasive for the patient, which many feel also contributes to a less stressful experience. It also contributes to a subsequently faster recovery due to more sterile and speedy surgical procedures.

3D Printing

While 3D printing was once something of a novelty, it is fast becoming a vital tool in the world of surgery. As well as being able to provide high quality 3D models to aid learning, this technology can be used with patient imaging technologies in order to create personalised anatomical structures. 

Many believe that, in time, this advanced technology may even be used to help create tissues for transplants and surgical implants. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

These days, there are not many parts of our lives that untouched by AI and, while there may have been some question regarding regulation by some, AI technology is proving to be an incredibly useful tool for the healthcare sector.

Artificial intelligence is doing this in a great many ways. Some of these include:

Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostics

Firstly, AI has been used to diagnose illnesses and conditions in patients across the globe. It works by using deep learning algorithms in order to ‘teach’ the tech about thousands of different medical complaints. The technology is then able to identify illnesses much more quickly, and possibly more accurately than many doctors could.

Experts predict that, in just a few years from now, AI will be considered a vital part of any hospital or surgery’s arsenal. In fact, it’s predicted to help cut down diagnosis times and allow patients to be treated much more quickly – often to a lifesaving degree.

Artificial Intelligence in Surgical Training

Artificial intelligence and virtual reality are also proving to be incredibly important tools for surgical training. Previously, students would rely on static models and pictures with the occasional shadowing of an actual surgeon which, when training for such a complex job, is far from ideal. 

Technology, such as AI and virtual reality (VR), allows surgical students to work with life-sized 3D models, as well as live streaming and zooming of actual operations wearing headsets. These headsets allow trainees to follow an experienced surgeon’s every move with clear imagery and guidance, providing a much better quality of training.

Wearable Technology 

As medical technology continues to advance, it also continues to get smaller and there are now a number of wearables used by doctors around the world. As well as helping surgeons to do their jobs more effectively, wearables can also be used to monitor vital signs and send real time alerts when medical intervention is needed. 

One such example is the Linx Impact Assessment device developed by BlackBox Biometrics – a piece of tech so tiny that it can be worn inside a headband. This technology is currently used to monitor vital signs and check for brain damage in athletes. Its creator aims to insert the devices into hospitals and surgeries for more accurate and effective real time monitoring. 

Image Guided Surgery

This important technological advance has virtually replaced the fluoroscopy for a less invasive and more effective way of seeing what’s going on within a patient. 

Image guided technology is proving invaluable with surgeries in hard-to-reach areas, such as the prostate. It is also proving to be less invasive and stressful for patients, as well as offering a superior tool to surgeons.

The Impact of Technology on Surgery

As we’ve highlighted in this article, some of the main impacts on technology in surgery are: 

  • Less invasive procedures for patients
  • Faster and more accurate diagnosis
  • Increased accuracy in surgical procedures

As well as these extremely important benefits, advanced technology is also predicted to help to cut down on surgical errors.

Each year in the UK, the NHS pays out around £2.6 million in compensation due to medical and surgical errors. By improving accuracy and cutting down on human error in surgeries, the hope is that the huge amount of compensation claims will also be reduced.

Not only will this ensure patients have a better experience with the NHS overall, it’ll also cut down on spending, leaving funds for more important ventures.

The Impact of New Technological Advances in Surgery

Growth in technology is absolutely necessary to keep moving towards the future. This article shows that there is little doubt that advanced technology will be key for the survival of organisations such as the NHS.

More importantly, though, it is clear that this technology will help to save the lives of millions of patients across the world through speedy diagnosis and super accurate surgical procedures.

The future of technology in surgery is all to play for. What developments do you think we’ll see in the coming years?

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