In the UK, the Working Time Directive (WTD) states that surgeons are required to work no more than 48 hours per week. But, despite this directive, many surgical professionals find themselves working in excess of 60 hours due to increasingly heavy workloads and ever decreasing budgets.
In some instances, these factors can lead to mistakes made by a negligent surgeon but, thankfully, there may be a solution to this issue in the form of technology. In 2021, technology is advancing in leaps and bounds, and the following are 5 technologies that are helping surgeons become more accurate.
Virtual Reality for Surgeons
When we think about Virtual Reality, our thoughts will often turn to leisure pursuits such as gaming. That said, this technology can provide a vital tool for surgeons.
History was made in 2016 when cancer surgeon, Shafi Ahmed, used a Virtual Reality camera to perform an operation. He “live streamed operations in order to educate people on a worldwide scale”, delivering 250 keynotes in more that 30 countries since then. This has led to a number of companies, including Osso VR and ImmersiveTouch, developing new VR based solutions.
Virtual Reality can also be used to great effect as a teaching tool for trainee surgeons, and may help to reduce the training time which currently stands at around seven years.
Augmented Reality for Surgeons
Not to be confused with Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality allows surgeons to visualise a 3D image of patient specific tissues and organs. This helps them to better identify, analyse, and dissect clinically significant structures quickly and easily.
This technology is incredibly important, as it allows surgeons to examine maladies, such as tumours, without invasive procedures prior to patient treatment.
Through computer generated perceptual information, Augmented Reality can significantly increase accuracy in diagnosis while saving surgeons valuable time.
Robots have come a long way since the droids presented to us from a galaxy far, far away. In fact, in 2021, surgical robotics are becoming almost mainstream when it comes to performing lifesaving operations.
Using 3D cameras to record procedures. Surgical robotics feature magnified high-definition visual tools and hand-like instruments which are operated by a real life, human surgeon. These ‘robots’ are able to perform surgical procedures with an incredibly high level of precision.
This is cutting down on the number of devastating mistakes made by negligent surgeons – mistakes which have a heavy cost both financially and emotionally for the NHS and UK residents. To date, surgical robotics have played a role in over 8.5 million procedures worldwide.
3D Printing for Surgeons
These days, 3D printing is used for a number of personal and professional pursuits. It has even been used to great success within the healthcare industry.
In 2016, physicians at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) used 3D printing to create artificial organs which replicated real, human organs. This groundbreaking technology has been a game changer for surgical training by increasing understanding of anatomy through realistic modelling.
iKnife For Surgeons
Despite the jaunty name, this revolutionary tool takes its inspiration from fairly old technology, which uses electrical currents to heat tissue in order to perform precise precisions with minimised blood loss.
The iKnife uses a mass spectrometer to detect and analyse chemicals in biological samples from vaporised smoke. This lets surgeons detect malignancies in tissues in record time. Because of this, this technology has become an integral part of cancer detection processes in recent years.
The Future for Surgeons is Bright, and Technical
As we speed toward 2022, it’s time to cut out mistakes made by negligent surgeons for good. With the help of some of the technology highlighted in this article, we can look forward to a future of more precise and efficient surgeries.
Not only is this sure to decrease stress and anxiety for patients, who may be anxious to enter the surgical room, it also has benefits for surgeons. By creating better tools for improved education, and limiting mistakes made in surgeries, surgeons can operate with more assurance than ever before.