AI, virtual reality set to boost growth of integrated operating rooms

A Frost & Sullivan report predicts that as many as 45% of ORs will be integrated with intelligent technologies within the next four years to improve the precision and predictability of surgical services.
By Nathan Eddy
11:51 AM
AI, virtual reality set to boost growth of integrated operating rooms

The rise of artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies is set to drive an increase in the number of integrated operating rooms, according to a report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.

WHY IT MATTERS
The study projected that 35% to 45% of ORs across the world would become integrated ORs within the next four years, utilizing intelligent technologies to improve the precision and predictability of the surgical services on offer.

"After 2030, with the availability of multiple home care devices, ORs will shift toward a hub-and-spoke model, with the OR being the hub," said Bejoy Daniel, Frost & Sullivan senior industry analyst for transformational health, in a statement.

He noted approximately $30 billion worth of integration opportunities would likely become available to healthcare and non-healthcare companies by this period, as ORs make the transition from regular rooms to an integrated environment.

Daniel’s statement continued by pointing out data interoperability would help analyze past and present data to predict future health outcomes and patient wellness index, leading to the optimum use of resources in the OR.

The report also noted cybersecurity, alongside interoperability, would remain a key challenge in terms of the successful implementation of connected OR solutions.

The report recommends hospitals should explore ways to integrate AI algorithms to reduce readmission and identify potential patient risks, as well as adopt VR in medicine and foster partnerships with medical device specialists.

THE LARGER TREND
Royal Philips is one company that has demonstrated an augmented reality concept for image-guided minimally invasive surgeries. At this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it showed off new technology developed in partnership with Microsoft.

Based on Philips’ Azurion image-guided therapy platform and Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 holographic computing platform, the augmented reality applications include those for image-guided minimally invasive therapies.

The company previously announced its development of an augmented reality solution for spine, cranial and trauma procedures – a combination of 3D X-ray imaging and optical imaging to provide surgeons with an augmented-reality view of the inside and outside of a patient during surgical procedures.

ON THE RECORD
"Currently, the priority for vendors is to analyze the available data and facilitate connectivity for device integration," said Daniel. "The aim is to interpret, synchronize, and coordinate data to achieve optimal OR results. The shift in favor of data and algorithms will fuel the algorithmic business and endow businesses with a competitive edge."

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.
Email the writer: nathaneddy@gmail.com
Twitter: @dropdeaded209