Explorer Surgical launches advanced video for remote surgery
ExplORer Surgical, a Chicago-based startup that's developed an interactive platform for surgeons, has launched a new suite of advanced audio and video capabilities to make remote support easier in the operating room (OR).
The new video conferencing function uses augmented reality technology and supports telestration, allowing users to draw markers on the video image. Users can zoom in and out of areas and objects, and share their screen. This means that while one person may use a laser pointer to highlight a key instrument, someone else can highlight that item remotely on the screen. They can also save a picture of the telestration to ExplORer's server.
The video tool has been launched in response to the restrictions created by the Covid-19 pandemic, to assist with surgical training while social distancing rules remain in place. It works alongside ExplORer's existing workflow application, which creates a playbook of best practices specific to the procedure and each member of the surgical team. This allows critical information to be accessible throughout the surgery.
ExplORer Surgical will be releasing an advanced analytics function shortly, which will use data from its video and workflow platforms to apply AI to its dataset. The platform already collects data and insights on actions occurring during procedures to highlight areas for improvement; the aim is for it to use predictive analytics and computer vision to passively collect additional data.
Our entire platform is built on OR efficiency research from the University of Chicago, and we continue to identify the best ways to bring exciting technologies into surgical workflows that make sense and don’t further complicate the OR or procedural suites" said Jennifer Fried, CEO of ExplORer Surgical.
"In a rapidly changing world and in high-stakes environments like the OR, we are dedicated to finding the best methods to bring innovation to the surgical and procedural teams."
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”