Aug 20, 2020

AI platform is aiming to improve surgical performance

Artificial intelligence
Machine Learning
surgical intelligence
surgical procedures
Leila Hawkins
2 min
AI platform is aiming to improve surgical performance
Driven by algorithms, Theator is being used as a coaching tool for surgeons...

An AI-driven platform designed to improve surgical performance is to be used at The Academy for Surgical Coaching, to help surgeons improve their performance. 

Billed as a surgical intelligence platform, Theator uses artificial intelligence to help with decision-making and surgical precision. Its smart annotation and analytics technology lets surgeons review and learn from their own past surgeries, by extracting and annotating key moments from actual procedures. 

The platform has a series of parameters including steps, decisions, events, and milestones. These allow the surgeons to view procedures as a series of ordered steps they can jump between. They’re also able to focus on specific events or moments that are critical to the outcome. As well as analysing data from their own operations, surgeons can leave feedback for their peers and view indexed, annotated surgical videos from all around the world. 

The nonprofit Academy for Surgical Coaching has partnered with Theator to help with their aim of improving surgical performance. The Academy typically pairs trainees up with a surgical coach who provides them with individual, tailored guidance to help with their learning. The concept of surgical coaching, though relatively new, has been reported as beneficial to improving the individual performance of a surgeon

The COVID-19 pandemic however, is proving to be an obstacle for face to face learning of any kind. Dr. Tamir Wolf, CEO and Co-founder of Theator, explains: “Surgical coaching is proven to enhance surgeons’ performance in the operating room. Nevertheless, in recent years, and especially during this pandemic, face to face coaching has been neither feasible nor most effective. 

“That’s why we're excited to partner with the experts at the Academy for Surgical Coaching to enable continuous learning, self evaluation, and peer-to-peer coaching through our surgical intelligence video-based platform.”

The use of artificial intelligence in the operating theatre has been on the rise recently. In 2019 McGill University in Canada developed a machine learning algorithm that was able to tell when trainee surgeons were ready to perform a real operation. The algorithm just needed to monitor six specific tasks to determine if the surgeons were ready. 

In April this year AI researchers from the department of surgery at Stanford University created an algorithm to help protect healthcare professionals from COVID-19 in the operating room. The tool analysed the severity of the patient's illness and the type of treatment they needed. 

Theator launched in 2019 with a mission to improve surgeons performance in real time using AI. Its first product, Minutes, was a reel playing edited versions of surgical procedures to help surgeons prepare for operations. 

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Jul 27, 2021

 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds

NHS
carehomes
elderlycare
healthcare
2 min
 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
NHS residential care homes provide better quality care than the private sector, a new report by Kepler Vision Technologies has found

A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities. 

The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75. 

Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement. 

However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector. 

Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.

Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities. 

Other key findings of the survey include: 
 * Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
 * 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
 * 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
 * 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
 * 47%  are worried about their parent being lonely
 * 46% are concerned they could fall over alone

The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn

Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space. 

"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”

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