CrowdOptic's AI Allows for Live-Streaming of Surgical Operations
CrowdOptic, a Google Glass certified partner, with National Bioskills Laboratories now enable medical students, physicians, and trainees to learn and observe surgeries in real-time.
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
For nine months, COVID-19 has forced newer technologies like A.I. and live-streaming to step up to the plate. The result of which has left the medical industry more evolved and sophisticated, providing an even more effective and safe environment for patients, students, and practitioners.
While it’s no secret that the healthcare industry has been relatively slow when it comes to embracing new technologies and disruptions, it doesn't mean it hasn't tried. Strange enough, it took a global pandemic to force people to recognize the true nature of our world: it's digitized.
Ironically (and to the detriment of many), the world is finally woke, becoming ever-more connected and utilizing technologies that should have quite frankly, been implemented five-years ago. The problem, however, in deploying many of these newer technologies resides with our current privacy law.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) governs the use and distribution of our health and medical information. Prior to COVID-19, many privacy enthusiasts believed that HIPAA did not need to be modernized and adjusted to our digital age—for obvious reasons such as the ease in which information can be compromised through third-party providers.
However, when COVID-19 was declared both a national emergency and a nationwide public health emergency, the HIPAA rules needed to change, to simply allow for the communication with patients while providing telehealth services through these remote communications technologies. Telehealth, or telemedicine as it's often referred to, is the practice of caring for patients remotely when the provider and patient are not physically present with each other.
Modern application of telehealth changed completely and for the better when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that video-streaming technologies like Zoom could be used without violating HIPAA laws. Specifically, applications such as Skype for Business / Microsoft Teams, Updox, VSee, Zoom for Healthcare, Doxy.me, Google G-Suite Hangouts Meet, Cisco Webex Meetings/ Webex Teams, Amazon Chime, GoTo Meeting, and Spruce Health Care Messenger, have all been federally approved for the provision of telehealth under the HHS COVID-19 notice.
However, the notice also makes it very clear that some of these live-streaming technologies, such as Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok, and other public-facing applications may not fully comply with HIPAA laws and should not be used in the provision of telehealth.
Google Glass and AI Enable Real-Time Surgical Training
Now that these live-streaming tools have been successfully implemented and utilized to ensure our healthcare is moving (even at a slow pace), imagine allowing physicians and healthcare providers to actually help minimize, if not prevent mistakes before they even happen, especially as we continue to address the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Fisher, who is known for his serial ventures, including Bharosa, which was later acquired by Oracle, has a new venture, CrowdOptic, which is known for its augmented-reality technology, according to Business Insider. CrowdOptic recently announced its partnership with NBL to deliver real-time streaming of ongoing operations to medical students and physicians.
Founded by Douglas Hampers, M.D., NBL is one of the first physician-founded and board-certified training companies which provides medical device companies and physicians with full-service planning and execution for hands-on training events. Hampers, who is also a board-certified orthopedist, believes that by removing geographical restrictions and adding A.I. and bioskills into the mix, the medical community (and fellow practitioners) will benefit from an educational and compliance standpoint.
For many medical professionals, the necessity of lifelong learning courses is instrumental in keeping licenses active. But whether we attribute COVID-19 as a factor or the reality that the industry’s overall reluctance to adopt these new technologies, still presents a problem for medical professionals who have a duty to attend to his patients.
Similar to the legal profession, where attorneys are required to attend continuing legal education (CLE) courses to keep their license active, medical professionals, like Dr. Hampers, are also required to attend these types of courses to keep their license active. But what COVID-19 has revealed, now more than ever is to ensure that medical professionals are properly utilizing the latest techniques and are confident in using the latest implants, safely.
When I spoke with Dr. Hampers and asked him about this revelation, he referred to those new implants and/or devices labeled by the FDA as ‘restricted use’ unless a physician has been properly trained.
But the problem with the current mechanism for continuing education compliance, according to Hampers, resides with the requirements' current infrastructure:
“These lifelong learning courses are low-quality, cramped, and take place at less desirable locations around the country; traveling to these courses was inconvenient, time-consuming, and infringed upon my opportunity to see patients in my clinic,” Hampers continued.
And right he is. Time is money and attending to patients is a priority. This is why this partnership between CrowdOptic and NBL is more than just a win for the industry; it's revolutionary.
With CrowdOptic's LiveConnect technology and NBL's bioskills facilities, remote attendees, including medical students, physicians, and trainers can now stream in to actually view the surgeries as they are happening in real-time, as well as engaging in simulcast training.
Back in June, NBL conducted its very first operation at its newest (and third) facility in San Francisco. In speaking with Dr. Hampers, he shared that According to Fisher, the company has seen a six-fold increase in the number of unsolicited inquiries for its remote training solution from healthcare organizations and from medical device manufacturers.
And to the public's benefit and satisfaction, both CrowdOptic and NBL have already started the process of integrating the technology into reputable collegiate institutions, most recently with Standford University's Medical School.
Back in June, Fisher's company announced its partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to begin streaming procedures by UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery faculty.
Soon after, CrowdOptic, as a certified Google Glass partner, then announced its partnership with Stanford University Medical School, where its software would also be used to live stream surgeries to doctors and medical students while wearing Google Glass.
So, the takeaway here? A.I. and bioskills are the newest trends for the medical field. It's just a shame a global pandemic had to be the factor to force this type of digitization.
“Seeing your physician has traditionally been thought of as an in-person experience,” Fisher explained to Grit Daily News, adding that “the thinking was that doctors need to see up close and physically contact patients in order to make a proper diagnosis. That is of course still true for certain ailments. But what the pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders revealed to us is that ‘seeing’ your physician can literally be just that--seeing your physician over a remote video call.”
Published at DZone with permission of Andrew Rossow. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.