By Mark Izumi
As healthcare looks to technology to improve patient care and to help with cost containment, 3 technologies noted by ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, dedicated for over 50 years of applied scientific research to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best, all to enable you to improve patient care.
The first is AI – artificial intelligence. Already in use is Pepper, a humanoid robot that can interpret body language, skin temperature, and mood changes of patients. Using the latest voice and facial recognition software, Pepper reads people’s facial expressions and voice tones to determine their mood and how they are feeling; assisting in the triage of an incoming patient.
Belgian firm Zora Bots which developed the brain software is now trialing Pepper in 2 Belgium hospitals. Pepper is approximately 4’7” can recognize up to 20 languages, distinguishes between a child, woman, or man, and is mobile enough to move around a room similar to an I Robot vacuum cleaner. Pepper has a display that can communicate text responses.
The second is Endoscopic Fluorescence Imaging System. Basically it is a fluorescent imaging agent that binds to protein in blood and is metabolized and excreted by the liver. What does that mean? It means the surgeon can see in bright fluorescence green the cancer tumor and cells that are being removed precisely, and completely. The Indocyanine green imaging highlights malignant tissue during an endoscopy that is
normally undetectable under regular light; it lets the surgeon to easily distinguish malignant tumors from healthy tissue, and increase the effectiveness of cancer elimination surgery.
The third technology is Robotic surgery. Robotic surgery is performed on simple to complex surgeries with up to four robotic arms that can be repositioned without the need to undock the robot. It communicates with a new type of operating table, which allows for automatic repositioning of the arms. Robotic surgery is minimally evasive which means that instead of operating on patients through large incisions, the Robot uses miniaturized surgical instruments that fit through a series of quarter-inch incisions. The key is minimally evasive surgery that leads to fewer complications, fewer infections, and more positive outcomes.
Increasing patient care through technology is an investment in the future of how patient care is becoming more efficient, effective, and productive.