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Robots will free surgeons from routine ops, says commission

Friday December 7th, 2018

In an age of robot assisted surgery, surgeons will no longer need to undertake many common procedures, the Royal College of Surgeons of England says today.

It envisages surgical care practitioners overseeing common procedures as robots undertake standardised routines, such as planned Caesarean sections.

Its commission on the future of surgery rejects the idea that autonomous robots could replace humans – but says they could release skilled surgeons for the most complex procedures.

The report also predicts that surgery will become less invasive – reducing the number of set piece procedures such as mastectomy and open heart surgery.

The commission also predicts the development of nanorobots and augmented reality headsets while 3-D printing of organs will offer a supply of tissue and “spare parts,” it says.

It echoes the college’s previous calls for a central database of new surgical techniques to ensure they are based on evidence.

Neurosurgeon Richard Kerr, who led the inquiry, said: “We’re standing on the verge of transformative changes in surgery that have the potential to dramatically improve patients’ care, helping them to live healthier lives for longer.

“We are now moving from the era of freehand surgery to the digitalisation of surgery — where surgeons are supported by data, genomic analysis and new tools such as robotics.”

Fellow investigator Dion Morton said: “If that platform is allowing you to standardise techniques and to deliver reproducible, safe procedures and you can train people faster, then it is perfectly rational to presume aspects of those procedures will be undertaken by non-medical but allied medical professionals, highly trained in a specific procedure.”

https://futureofsurgery.rcseng.ac.uk

Tags: General Health | UK News

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