By BETH RUDLOFF, Chief Innovation Officer, MedSpeaks
The Florida Hospital Nicholson Center is an important part of the medical device innovation climate in Central Florida and is expanding its state of the art services to embrace simulation, consulting, education, research, as well as digital and audio/video services. With this expansion of services, the Nicholson Center has positioned itself well as an industry leader for increasing the competence and skills of physicians and surgeons.
The Nicholson Center's highest volume trainer is the da Vinci robotic surgical device, but they also conduct training on other robotic systems and devices; in fact the Nicholson Center is the only robotic training facility in the country that trains on all major robotics devices. Efficient robotic surgical devices and proficient training on how to use them remain an important and evolving industry innovation. Robotic devices provide the surgeon with an up close and precise view of the internal operating site with very small incisions; and HD video means the surgeon doesn't have to guess at the anatomy as they do with laparoscopic surgery. The classic fields you would regularly associate with robotic surgery such as urology, thoracic, and gynecology, continue to grow in volume, but newer areas of growth include spinal surgery, and total knee or hip replacements. However, the type of explosive growth we're seeing in robotic surgeries cannot be supported by the industry without the types of in depth trainings provided at the Nicholson Center.
There are interesting new advantages for robotic surgery that are just starting to be explored, such as Telemedicine. A surgeon in a remote area using robotic surgical device can transmit the images in real time to a more experienced surgeon assisting in dealing with any unexpected issues during surgery and assuring the best possible outcome. Big Data is another burgeoning advantage of robotic surgery, even attracting the attention of large IT companies like Google and Apple. The possibility of mass data collection from robotic surgeries for analysis of outcomes is just around the corner, and data scientists everywhere are chomping at the bit to begin analyzing robotic surgery metrics. Our event moderator, Roger Smith, thinks the eventual outcome will be similar to the "Intel inside" for computers. He imagines that someday soon, there will be the second tier artificial intelligence for robotic surgery, possibly advising the surgeon during the procedure on the best possible approach from its data analysis of thousands of similar procedures.
As innovators, we are impressed with the range and effectiveness of the Nicholson Center. Clearly the medical providers that visit for seminars and trainings to improve their clinical expertise are benefiting, and their patients are as well. This increased level of competency ripples out across Central Florida and beyond, creating better outcomes for patients and consumers.