Article by Tom Green, Asian Robotics Review, 2017
Converging technology and the next logical step toward “intelligent” operating rooms
Technology automates the operating room (OR) once again
No doubt most everyone has seen the Samsung or Google virtual reality (VR) television commercials, where as soon as anyone straps on the VR goggles they are immediately immersed in wild visuals from places like panoramic mountain peaks to roller coaster rides to house-to-house combat.
What if instead of jaw-dropping exteriors the scenes were replaced with interior vistas of the human body? What if the VR goggles were augmented reality (AR) goggles that closely tracked the progress of a scalpel in the metallic clutches of a robot?
What if cascades of data flowing from that same human body were analyzed and reported back on the AR goggles’ heads-up display? What if the robot’s journey could be minutely scrutinized not only by the surgeon but also by those on the operating room’s entire surgical team?
And what if the AR goggles could speak, instantaneously snapping out answers to any query from the surgeon—or from any one of the surgical team’s members—about the patient’s condition, or delivering up analytics about similar operations, procedures and outcomes?
That new OR automation reality is here today, but in scattered pieces. Surgical simulation software, intraoperative imaging devices, surgical navigation systems, augmented reality, and surgical robots, are being brought together into what’s being hailed as the “intelligent” or “digital” operating room.
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Asian Robotics Review is an online publication offering news, analysis, research and opinion on the global technology and business issues of robotics and robotics-driven automation as they apply to and affect the business, technology and people of Asia (East Asia, Southeast Asia, Asia/Pacific (Australia & New Zealand), and India).