Surgical operating theatre: The ‘Heart’ of hospital

Operating rooms (ORs) are specialised workspaces that require highly functional equipment of the highest quality, which surgeons and other OR personnel use to perform lifesaving procedures. - Dr K. M. Mandana

Image by Zahid H Javali from Pixabay

Without this equipment in place, OR professionals may struggle to deliver the care that patients need. There is a definite number of essential operating room equipment that OR professionals need on a per case basis. Each piece of equipment serves a distinct purpose and makes it easier for OR personnel to get the job done. Here’s a closer look at some of the most common required OR equipment that serve the needs of OR staff and patients every day.

Overview of necessary operating room equipment-reduced

  1. Utility columns
  2. Surgical and exam lights
  3. Stretchers and stretcher accessories
  4. Cushions and mattresses
  5. Space management booms
  6. Sterilisation and cleaning equipment
  7. Disposables and consumables
  8. Gel pads and positioners.

An operation theatre complex is the “heart” of any major surgical hospital. An operating theatre, operating room, surgery suite or a surgery centre is a room within a hospital, within which surgical and other operations are carried out. Operating theatres were so-called in the United Kingdom, because they traditionally consisted of semi-circular amphitheatres to allow students to observe the medical procedures. The Old Operating Theatre in London is one of the oldest, dating back to 1822.

Artificial Intelligence: Coming soon to a hospital operating theatre near you

Human intelligence has long powered hospitals and health care. People rely on doctors, nurses, and a variety of other clinicians to solve problems and create new solutions. Advances in artificial intelligence are now making it possible to apply this form of computer-based “thinking” to health care.

There are many developments in artificial intelligence. Here are three areas — training, surgical robots, and data mining — in which, people believe it will begin making a difference sooner rather than later.

Games for surgeons

Inside their operating rooms, surgeons are the captains of the ship. They possess extensive medical training and the skills to apply it. But they rely on the co-operation and contributions of the entire team to make the most of those skills. Unfortunately, few surgeons get training in how to effectively lead people with different educational and skill backgrounds.

Intelligent robots

Major advances in robotic surgery let doctors perform many types of complex procedures with more precision, flexibility, and control than is possible with other conventional techniques. Robots like the Da Vinci Surgical System provide a platform for translating a surgeon’s movements into precise actions with advanced instruments. Current robots, however, are not aware of the anatomy they show the surgeon, the procedures they are being used to perform, or what the surgeon intends to do. They are fantastic tools, but they aren’t yet intelligent assistants.

Future generations of robotic surgery platforms will be more aware of the procedure being performed and use that knowledge and perception to give the surgeon intelligent assistance.

Alexa, Siri, and Cortana can not only understand your music preferences and other wishes, they can also listen to questions asked in the work environment. For doctors, that means the operating room—and for the patient, it means that operating surgeon is not alone. Here’s why it’s so useful.

Thanks to AI, there is a world of data out there that can instantly respond to everyone’s curiosity and influence our decision making. The medical database version of IBM’s Watson—and similar knowledge repositories from Google, Apple, and even Amazon—are now available at the tip of any surgeon’s tongue. These tools are called “voice agents.” They listen passively and are available to answer any question one may have. Anyone may ask for a reminder of a patient’s surgical history, for the data on a specific type of meniscus tear, or for a suggestion on how to remove a broken screw that resists the techniques one has used before or a latest technique available in journals regarding heart valve repairs.

While much of the information is accessible before one even enter the operating room, the surprises doctor’s encounter in surgery are still enormous. Why? Because there are wide variations in each patient’s tissues, where they insert, how they interact, and how they are injured or having infective endocarditis on heart valves. No two people are exactly alike— yet the similarities are what permit us to aggregate this data into AI’s voice agents.

Before, surgeons usually had to do it alone. Today, everyone is empowered with the world’s knowledge of each case, each technique’s outcome, and with the many surgical variations that have been tried. While our head may hold a career’s worth of knowledge, and hands skilled by practice, it was just one individual. But now we are alone no more.

Digital Surgery, a health tech company shaping the future of surgery through the convergence of surgical expertise and technology, announced that it has developed and successfully demonstrated the world’s first real-time, dynamic AI system designed for the OR. The company is building the data to power the future of surgery through its world-class and proprietary surgical procedure road maps, which aim to aid the surgical team in the OR, reducing risk and making surgery safer. Digital Surgery is the first patented AI platform bringing this scale of knowledge to the surgical community.

This is a huge milestone for the future of surgery because it lays the foundation for how AI and computer vision will support surgical teams to deliver safer surgeries. It also enables the next generation of robotic surgery, giving these future systems the capability to function more intelligently and safely.