The golden age of surgery, when results were solely determined by the manual skills of a surgeon, is over. With advances in imaging technologies, genetic research and robotics, surgery has become much more precise. These innovations enable surgeons to see and feel their work more accurately, and even perform procedures that were previously impossible for them.
The future of surgery is not just about better dexterity and precision, but also broader applications in the operating room. For example, some new surgical robots are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning capabilities, which can analyze large amounts of data in real time and provide surgeons with detailed information to help them make difficult decisions such as where to make an incision or the best locations for stem cell injections.
These systems work by converting surgeon hand movements into electronic signals that are transmitted to the instrument tip, which is located inside the patient’s body. This can be done with purpose-designed instruments that overcome the limited degrees of freedom available in endoscopic surgery, as well as steerable tools with functional tips inserted into the patient’s body, where they are controlled by motors located in the handle.
The use of this technology can help to ensure that patients have access to the correct treatment in a timely manner, even during pandemics. However, it’s important to remember that these technologies are only one component of a complete healthcare system. In order to be effective, they need to be used in tandem with a range of other medical technologies, such as MRI scans and genetic testing, which can be used to inform personalized treatments.