In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, technology has emerged as a formidable ally, reshaping the domain in remarkable ways. In the field of surgery especially, cutting-edge technology has transcended the boundaries of conventional practices, ushering in a new era of patient care and surgical excellence. According to a recent survey by Optum, 83% of healthcare organizations have adopted an artificial intelligence strategy, with an additional 15% in the process of developing one.
In recent years, the fusion of advanced computational power and medical expertise has given rise to a plethora of surgical planning software solutions, each designed with the aim of enhancing surgical precision and patient outcomes. These tools have empowered surgeons with invaluable insights and real-time data and have also revolutionized preoperative preparations, thereby minimising risks and improving overall surgical efficiency. Essentially, the surgical planning software market is on a remarkable growth trajectory, poised to register over USD 200 million by 2023, as per a research study from Global Market Insights Inc.
Emerging Trend of Personalised Healthcare
The healthcare landscape is undergoing a profound transformation, and at its core lies the growing trend of personalized treatment strategies. As medical science continues to advance, clinicians and patients alike are increasingly recognising the importance of tailored, patient-specific approaches to healthcare. This shift towards personalised treatment is significantly impacting the demand for surgical planning software.
Personalised treatment strategies encompass a range of factors, including a patient's unique anatomy, genetics, and overall health profile. Surgeons and healthcare providers are now leveraging advanced technologies like surgical planning software to customise surgical interventions with higher precision previously unimaginable, facilitated by the efforts of major entities in the healthcare domain.
Smith+Nephew, for instance, is working on personalising robotically-assisted surgery through AI-driven planning software and data visualization. In May 2023, the international medical technology company unveiled two essential products to enhance its robotics and digital surgery offerings, dubbed RI.INSIGHTS Data Visualization Platform and Personalized Planning powered by AI. These solutions play a crucial role in converting data into actionable insights, allowing surgeons to understand the connection between pre-operative surgical plans, intra-operative decision-making, and postoperative outcomes.
Such software tools are enabling healthcare professionals to create detailed 3D models of a patient's anatomy, allowing for meticulous preoperative analysis and planning. From orthopaedic procedures to complex neurosurgery, the ability to tailor surgical plans to individual patient needs has become a paramount consideration, propelling surgical planning software to the forefront in the ever-evolving world of personalized medicine.
3 Key Technologies Revolutionising the Surgical Planning Software Market
In the near future, advanced visualisation technologies will revolutionise pre-operative planning and surgery. Augmented reality will play a pivotal role, providing a comprehensive view of a patient's anatomy by overlaying and integrating diverse information seamlessly into the surgeon's real-time camera view. These advancements promise greater effectiveness and precision in both pre-operative preparations and intra-operative procedures. Notably, three key technologies are spearheading this transformation:
AI has become an indispensable tool in surgical planning software, empowering surgeons with the ability to provide highly customised, efficient, and safe surgical interventions that were once inconceivable. AI algorithms can process vast amounts of patient data, including medical images, patient history, and anatomical details, in a matter of seconds, allowing surgeons to create highly personalised surgical plans.
One of AI's key contributions is its ability to assist in decision-making during surgery. Real-time data analysis can provide surgeons with crucial insights, helping them adapt and fine-tune their approach as the procedure unfolds. In 2021, one of the Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Acclarent Inc., introduced AI-powered software for the TruDi Navigation System, catering specifically to ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeons. Offering live 3D guidance, anatomical mapping, and surgical insights throughout ENT procedures, the software was intended to simplify surgical planning and deliver instant feedback during navigation procedures in the ENT field.
Furthermore, AI-driven surgical planning software enables the creation of 3D models of a patient's anatomy, offering a comprehensive view that aids in preoperative preparation. This level of precision and sophistication not only leads to better outcomes but also allows for minimally invasive procedures, shorter recovery times, and improved patient satisfaction.
Medical science has advanced significantly with the introduction of technology that transforms CT scans and MRIs into digital 3D images for various medical applications. 3D imaging has now become central to surgical planning, with customised software creating precise 3D models of each patient's anatomy. This is proving effective in numerous factions of surgery, such as procedures like spinal fusion, where orthopaedic surgeons rely on the digital spine map to accurately position metal plates, pedicle screws, and rods.
Surgeons are increasingly seeking ways to explore intricate anatomical structures from various angles, in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the patient's unique physiology. In February 2023, the France-based Regional University Hospital of Brest announced significant improvements to its pre-surgical planning procedures following the adoption of a new 3D printer by Cylaos, Stratasys' partner-reseller. This installation gave surgeons access to highly accurate 360-degree patient-specific anatomical models before surgery, potentially reducing surgical risks and operating room time.
Essentially, 3D imaging is becoming invaluable in surgery planning, providing real-time guidance and aiding surgeons in critical decision-making. This technology enhances a surgeon's ability to navigate complex anatomical structures, adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and ultimately contribute to safer and more successful surgical outcomes.
Virtual reality (VR) is making significant inroads into the realm of surgical planning, revolutionising how surgeons prepare for complex procedures. By immersing surgeons in a three-dimensional, virtual environment, VR allows them to explore and interact with patient-specific anatomy in an unprecedented way. This immersive experience provides a deeper understanding of the intricacies and spatial relationships within the body, enhancing surgical precision.
Surgeons these days are using virtual reality tech to rehearse procedures, test various approaches, and anticipate potential challenges before entering the operating room. In response to this trend, major entities in the healthcare technology space are now shifting their focus toward enhancing the utility of sophisticated AR/VR-based surgical planning solutions, with the view of enhancing visualisation, especially during complex procedures such as brain surgery.
In April 2021, Medtronic plc, a global medical technology leader, partnered with Surgical Theater to integrate its SyncAR augmented reality (AR) technology with the StealthStation S8 surgical navigation system from Medtronic. This collaboration was intended to empower neurosurgeons to use real-time AR technology for enhanced visualisation during intricate cranial procedures. The merging of the two technologies allowed the firms to give surgeons the chance to introduce the benefits of AR into their procedures, from assessing brain structures to trialling virtual surgical tools and planning surgeries before entering the operating room.
How Planning Software is Integral to Evolution in the Orthopaedic Surgery Domain
Surgical planning software has become an integral catalyst for the evolution of orthopaedic surgery, ushering in a new era of precision, efficiency, and patient-centric care. The orthopaedic surgery domain has witnessed a remarkable transformation over the years, due to the advent of cutting-edge software solutions. Recent developments further underscore the growing importance of surgical planning software in orthopaedic surgery. For instance, in 2020, a surgical team at the Bucks County Orthopedic Specialists (BCOS) announced the completion of the first computer-assisted total knee replacement procedure, marking a significant stepping stone toward improving surgical accuracy and safety for patients suffering from complex knee arthritis.
One of the most notable advancements in orthopaedic surgery facilitated by surgical planning software is the rise of patient-specific implants and instrumentation. Advanced imaging techniques, such as CT scans and MRIs, are processed by these software tools to create detailed 3D models of a patient's anatomy. These models enable orthopaedic surgeons to customise implants and surgical guides with unparalleled precision, ensuring an optimal fit and alignment for each patient.
In addition to these benefits, orthopaedic surgeons are also leveraging augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies, integrated into surgical planning software, to improve the visualisation of anatomical structures. For instance, in May 2023, Formus Labs received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. FDA, positioning its Formus Hip solution as the first automated radiological image processing software for pre-op planning in hip replacement procedures. By combining AI with computational biomechanics, the company is aiming to accelerate the planning process for joint replacement surgeries, by calculating the patients’ implant fit and developing actionable and interactive 3D surgical plans.
Surgical planning software has effectively become the cornerstone of surgery evolution worldwide, empowering surgeons to provide highly customised, efficient, and safe surgical interventions. As technology continues to advance, further innovations are expected in this field, revolutionising the surgery domain and improving the lives of countless patients.