20 Jun, 2017

Digital Transformation Affects Surgery


Digital transformation is supporting a shift in the new technological advances in the healthcare industry. Surgical care is one of the few industries that has the ability for digital transformation to change it in a completely profound and disruptive way.

It is clear that we are in a time where technology plays a large role in patient and healthcare relationships. Since surgery is often necessary to save someone’s life, digital transformation is constantly changing in order to advance new technologies. These technologies are now making it possible to be interactive in the healthcare industry which ultimately leads to better surgical experiences.

With the constant technological progress that occurs in this industry, let’s narrow down a few advancements that have made a huge impact in the world of healthcare.

Robotic surgery

Robotic surgery, otherwise known as “da Vinci system” is an advanced, innovative type of surgery that is executed using a robotic arm and a surgeon executing the task. This is done through small cuts which result in a non-invasive procedure for the patient, leading to less scarring as opposed to open surgery.

Robotic surgery is mainly used for gynecologic surgery, general surgery, urologic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and head and neck surgery”  according to Global Robotic Surgery Market: Industry Analysis & Outlook (2017-2021).

Surgeons who specialize in the da Vinci system are trained through extensive practice allowing for pinpoint accuracy to the targeted surgical area of the patient. 


Reduced contamination

  • Using robotic surgery reduces the size of the operating room which decreases contamination because there are fewer individuals in the room with the potential to infect the patient.

High definition cameras

  • Using high definition cameras, surgeons get a first-hand look into the targeted surgical areas that uses “accurate depth perception” according to NYU Langone Medical Center.

More mobility

  • The robot has the ability to move its wrist in particular movements which humans cannot do. This allows for any surgical instrument to be held with a great range of motion, allowing for targeted surgical areas to be reached easily and efficiently.

“The rationale behind robotic surgery is that a robot makes minimally invasive procedures possible thanks to the precision of its movements. The patient benefits from a lower chance of infection, less pain, reduced blood loss and a quicker recovery with fewer complications.” World Economic Forum White Paper Digital Transformation of Industries: Healthcare states. 

Amazon’s Alexa

Amazon has managed to create technology that most industries want to get their hands on, including Alexa, the tool that carries out demands using hands-free and voice recognition technology. It’s a no brainer as to why surgeons would want to adapt their surgical rooms to fit the digital transformations that Amazon has to offer. Here’s why:

Patient interaction

Surgeons want to use Amazon Alexa to complete safety checklists with patients in order to avoid emergencies and to efficiently learn what patients may be allergic to, thus avoiding threats in the surgical room.

According to CNBC.com, “a patient was listening in to the safety checklist via a voice application right before going under. The patient had an allergy to latex, a fact that was missing from the medical record, but was addressed thanks to the checklist.”

Amazons Alexa has the potential to perform tasks that are clear and easy for patients to understand, taking the pressure off of hospital staff to do all the busy work that is required in hospitals.

The problem

Amazon Alexa is currently not regulated by HIPAA components. This means that Alexa is not yet certified to store patient information.

Luckily, Amazon is constantly working on expanding its HIPAA factor so hospitals. This means Alexa may eventually be a useful attribute to hospital staff.

Hospitals still continue to experiment with Alexa to see how useful or helpful it can be in the future.

Amazon proves to be limitless once again, testing the healthcare industry and potentially changing the way hospitals function forever.

Microsoft’s HoloLens

Augmented reality has made an appearance in the surgical healthcare industry thanks to Microsoft HoloLens.

The traditional two-dimensional medical images that surgeons study in order to effectively respond to the patients’ needs has the potential to be replaced with 3D-augmented reality models that offer a first-hand look on how to navigate organs even before reaching the operating table.

3D augmented reality models are carried out with surgeons wearing HoloLens, which are glasses that create a virtual reality of the CT and MR scans of their patients.

Until this concept was introduced, surgeons would use computer monitors to visualize the targetted surgical areas, causing them to constantly flip back and forth between the scans.

HoloLens changes this process completely, putting surgeons at the front line of 3D visual images, ultimately improving their preparation for surgery.

According to ZDNet, liver surgery is mainly being focused on within these studies.

“When treating a liver cancer, one of the results of the new technique is that more of the healthy liver tissue can be left behind, which should increase the patients’ ability to withstand more surgery in the course of their treatment, according to Bjørn Edwin, the surgeon at Oslo University Hospital.”

Advancements in heart surgery are also being focused on in the future.

The goal of Microsoft HoloLens is to further advance imaging techniques throughout all departments in the healthcare industry as well as to adapt surgeons to new strategies that are formed through digital transformation.


Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly In this growing world of digital transformation, surgery is being forced to adapt to new, digital components in order to create an effective, reliable and innovative process of surgical care.

With the dramatic digital changes that this industry has already experienced over the past decade, it is vital to stay up to date with technology in order to be an effective participant. These transformations include any new technologies that are developed in order to facilitate strategies to further transform healthcare to be digitally capable and reliant. Join us in learning about these concepts in order to be informed about what changes are offered through digital transformations.

The Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce that application for our biannual Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly is now open! Seats are reserved for the C-Level executives leading the digital healthcare revolution to come together on December 5-6, 2017.

The Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly has been designed for all of our partners, affiliates, and members to once again gather in our unique format to develop new relationships, collaborate with like-minded peers, and learn cutting edge intelligence to take back home and help tackle the biggest business issues of today.

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