Awake Spine Surgery: New Frontier of AI and Robotics
Awake Spinal Fusion is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require general anesthesia. Instead of a lengthy hospital stay, you’re up and about in just a few hours.
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Awake Spine Surgery: New Frontier of AI and Robotics

Awake Spine Surgery: New Frontier of AI and Robotics

Awake Spine Surgery: New Frontier of AI and Robotics

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly revolutionizing awake spine surgery, as well as comprehensive spine care.

Using AI, surgeons can improve preoperative patient selection and preparation, surgical indications, outcome predictions, and postoperative care with evidence-based predictive analytics. Additional benefits include quality and reproducibility of spine research, perioperative surgical assistance and tracking optimization, and intraoperative surgical performance.

Let’s add robots into the mix as well. Robots are still in their infancy, but they could reduce fatigue for surgeons and improve correctness and exactness in the process. By improving quality and delivery of care, AI and robots are beginning to disrupt the spine service industry — which has positive implications for all kinds of patients.

Analytics, Cutting-Edge Care, and Awake Spine Surgery

Robotics testing, surgery, and precision have advanced to extraordinary levels thanks to AI. The use of artificial intelligence makes awake spine surgery much more accurate. Robots help the surgeons figure out what’s going on by providing real-time data points about their movements.

Additionally, by improving quality and minimizing costs, AI maximizes the value of state-of-the-art spine care. By using robotic-assisted surgery, you can keep the surrounding soft tissues protected while maintaining healthy bone, accurately and safely implanting spinal implants while protecting inner structures such as nerves.

With that said, there’s a lot of potential in AI when it comes to improving surgical execution and patient outcomes. The benefits of robotic spinal surgery include minimal surgical trauma, fewer complaints of pain and complications, and less blood loss. More satisfied patients return to their daily lives faster. Increasingly, artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) are transforming how spine surgeons make decisions.

In general, the potential for utilizing AI in health care at large is huge — but it’s still in its infancy. The technology will allow surgeons to plan surgical strategies with advanced platforms, place implants safely, reliably and expediently, and predict the correction and define surgery goals as technology continues to develop. Spine surgeons and other doctors can increasingly plan, execute, and get patient-reported outcomes more comprehensively. With data and predictive analytics, doctors can tell patients what to expect from awake spine surgery and also who should perform it, as well as valuable metrics available to both surgeons and patients alike.

Awake Spine Surgery, Algorithms, and Machine Learning

There are algorithms that can tell a surgeon in real time the benefits and risks of a particular procedure for a particular patient suffering from spinal deformity. Various algorithms are being developed to suggest the best alignment parameters for a particular patient, and patient-specific rods are being created to help surgeons do it.

Machine learning allows the algorithm to get even more accurate as more surgery outcomes are collected and added to datasets. To improve patient outcomes, AI can assimilate and interpret big data in a meaningful and trainable way. Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management of patients are made easier with these tools, allowing for safer, more effective, and more cost-efficient surgeries. These procedures involve larger and more complex cases for patients suffering from significant pain and those having a hard time living.

It’s important for patients to know what to expect and how to achieve those corrections intraoperatively before having awake spine surgery. Through AI technology, surgeons can incorporate all of these parameters about patients — such as disease status, bone quality, specifics, and spine needs — into an algorithm to better predict and more effectively treat them.

AR and VR’s Relationship to AI in Surgery

Augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) can help robot-assisted navigation systems be quick and accurate. Real-time feedback can be provided to surgeons during surgery using AI, wearable devices, and AR. In addition, AI and surgical robots can facilitate remote learning and semi-automated surgery through combining AR, VR, and AI.

Over the next decade, all of these fields will be more cohesively brought together to improve awake spine surgery by collaborating between clinicians and engineers. In fact, the application of artificial intelligence in surgery is still in its infancy stage, facing many challenges such as scattered data and clinical conversion.

However, AI in spine surgery is getting better each year with integration, mining, and management of unstructured data. The application of AI and machine learning in spinal surgery is increasingly allowing doctors to diagnose and treat patients better, optimize the medical process, create a clinically assisted decision-making system, ease patients’ pain, and reduce social and economic burdens.

Predicting the Outcome of Awake Spine Surgery

In the United States, artificial intelligence tools are continually being enhanced to help surgeons predict patient outcomes in spine surgeries — especially awake spine surgery.

Success was traditionally measured by how well patients could walk, bend, or move after surgery. But today, measuring success looks different now that AI is in place and doing its job. Many projects boasting positive outcomes are specifically focusing on pain medication. Opioid addiction continues to be a problem, so researchers and doctors are continually looking for ways to improve pain management after surgery.

With AI and machine learning, researchers, doctors and engineers are predicting which patients will cope well with pain post-surgery versus those needing extra help. Essentially, artificial intelligence algorithms are analyzing millions of data points to predict which patients might need pain management help after surgery. The systems makes predictions based on a subset of data. Then it tests predictions against new subsets, and it continuously improves and updates the methodology as it learns.

Algorithms like these crunch thousands of variables at once, while traditional clinical trials test one or two variables at a time. Doctors and researchers get better results if they feed the AI more data. From blood pressure to age — to what medications a patient was on before surgery and how long they’ve been on those medications — the experts are reviewing everything.

The algorithm might identify a patient as likely to struggle when weaning from pain meds. But what happens after that? Many experts are saying that the solution isn’t to skip awake spine surgery or treatment, but rather to involve pain management and other technological specialties early on. There’s evidence that certain techniques — such as weaning a patient off pain medications before surgery takes place, or changing pain medications before surgery — can reduce the patient’s need for pain medication afterward.

However, AI has a lot to learn too. Artificial intelligence is still learning the value of humans — and so far, it’s doing a great job. Using AI begins with the exact questions doctors can ask as they get to know their patients’ issues. It’s still a human thing to formulate questions, which relies on depth, breadth, and synthesis of different kinds of knowledge. Asking the right questions also requires creative thinking and imagination.

Awake Spine Surgery

Awake Spinal Fusion is here to educate you on the basics of your spine, back pain, awake spine surgery, minimally invasive surgery options, and so much more about outpatient spine procedures.

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