Written by Abhishek Sanyal, Senior Analyst – BIS Research
Although the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) in operating rooms is not new, commercial products and solutions have been available in the market only since 2018. Automation and intelligence in operating rooms are expected to be part of the standard healthcare paradigm in the near future.
While AI has started to contribute to the workflow in operating rooms in some capacity, further adoption is expected to be driven by efforts in standardizing the regulatory process for AI-based solutions in the healthcare industry, advancement in 3-D visualization technologies, and the growing preference for advanced technologies to streamline the workflow in operating rooms. Some of the key players include Activ Surgical, Inc., Brainomix Limited, Caresyntax Corp., DeepOR S.A.S., LeanTaaS Inc., Medtronic Plc, and Theator Inc., among others
The latest market study by BIS Research, titled, ‘Global Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Operating Room Market’ focuses on assessing the market potential for the period 2021-2030.
AI in operating room is still in its nascent stage. One of the strong points of this technology is that it improves with time. Continuous input from clinicians, patients, and other stakeholders will be essential for correctly implementing the technology to enhance meaningful uses, reduce costs, and improve treatment outcomes.
During the report development, Abhishek Sanyal, Senior Analyst at BIS Research, collaborated with various stakeholders to gain a holistic understanding of the intricacies associated with the AI in operating room market.
Following is an excerpt from the conversation between our analyst and Tamir Wolf, CEO and Co-Founder at Theator Inc.
Q: Could you describe your offering and its applications in the field?
Dr. Tamir: Yes. We are commercial. Our platform is called ‘Surgical Intelligence’, which has a base capability to automatically capture and upload each and every procedure that is performed in the operating room, seamlessly, without interference with the OR team workflow. It’s all cloud-based infrastructure.
Our platform has the following components:
• Content management
• Second and additional components are focused on enabling surgeons to do their daily tasks more efficiently, which includes a tailored preparation experience, training, and post-operative debrief.
Those are the patient-centric jobs of surgeons. Apart from that, there is lifelong learning, which involves analytics of performance, research, and others. This is the initial stage of our platform. Ultimately, all the information that we gather will be used to create real-time decision support capabilities, which is the next stage.
Q: Is ‘Training’ the primary applications of this platform?
Dr. Tamir: Education training is the very basic aspect of it. There are others. However, speaking from a strictly regulatory perspective, it is just education training for now. The potential utility in the future is around surgical planning, risk management, and other things beyond education training.
Q: What are the key barriers for the growth of this technology and the entry of new players in the market according to you?
Dr. Tamir: Well, there are a few companies in this space.
However, I think there are some issues or barriers:
• The main issue, according to me, is the status quo.
• Also, the go-to market approach which I think will be critical for new players to consider in the next few years. Currently, most of the companies are more or less following the same approach. However, in the next few years, the go-to market strategy will be a clear differentiator.
• Additionally, we are in the healthcare technology industry. Consequently, intellectual property (IP) is also a key barrier from that perspective.
Q: Overall, what is your opinion on the future of artificial intelligence in the operating room?
Dr. Tamir: Well, I think these are exciting times. Not considering the buzz around AI, ultimately it is an enabler to do things at scale and quickly. It needs to serve a higher purpose that provides surgeons or other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem with value. The real value that a company provides with AI is the key component. This technology can be leveraged to tackle the disparity in the world of surgery.
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