Over the past 5 years robotics have become more and more integrated into the medical field. From AI assisted colonoscopies to in-depth tools improving patient experience, physicians and specialists are learning that robotics can help reduce the number of incidences involving human error and improve patient care quality.
Medical professionals are beginning to experience these benefits in the world of orthopedics, as robot-assisted spine surgeries gain traction. The market for robotics is highly competitive, with companies striving to develop the next essential tool for medical professionals.
“While robotic orthopedic procedures are still in their infancy, physicians report a myriad of benefits from the tools, including faster recovery times, fewer complications and less invasive procedures,” Claire Wallace of Becker’s said in an October article.
Saad Chaudhary, M.D., a surgeon at Mount Sinai Health System is one of many physicians who see the benefits of adopting increase usage of robotics.
“One of the largest challenges in adapting minimally invasive surgical techniques for spine surgery has been the high-dose radiation exposure required to execute a reliable, durable, less invasive option. Now, with the advent of high-fidelity robotic platforms, the radiation exposure to the surgical team and patients can be significantly minimized, all while delivering a highly accurate and successful surgical solution. This robotic technology will allow for a wider adaptation of less invasive surgical solutions across the country.”
Pushing for Growth
According to Becker’s, the majority of those pushing for faster advancement and adoption of robotics are up and coming leaders within the industry. Others who have already introduced this new technology have seen good results.
Michael Gallizi, M.D., of The Steadman Clinic in Colorado, has already recorded over 100 robot-assisted spine procedures.
“Using the robot as a targeting mechanism and then passing the endoscope through the robot to be more accurate with some of our disease pathology treatments will be a game changer,” Gallizzi said.
With orthopedic robotics being so new, skeptics question long-term effects and a lack of available data. Others note the high price for the equipment, with many units costing $1 million each.
“I think the jury is still somewhat out on the superiority of clinical outcomes with robotic surgeries versus conventional surgeries,” Julius Oni, MD, medical director of orthopedics at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, told Becker’s. “I think we will see what the long-term data shows, and certainly we will be able to get a lot more information from these surgeries and hopefully fine-tune the process and make them even better in the years to come.”
Like other specialties, orthopedic physicians are working to adapt to robotics in the exam room. As they become more integrated, patients may see improved outcomes through less invasive, more precise procedures.