Explorer Surgical today announced that it has expanded its ExplORer Live cloud-based platform to include robot-assisted surgery. ExplORer Live is customized for medical device companies to share best practices in real time with surgical teams, and robotic surgery is predicted to be a fast-growing market in the next 10 years, according to the Chicago-based company.
“Our goal is simple, yet critical: find a better way to provide medical device companies with actionable insights on the black box of surgery,” stated Jennifer Fried, co-founder and CEO of Explorer Surgical. “For example, there is a perception of surgery that the surgeon is the key to successful outcomes, but we know this downplays the role of the nurses, scrub techs, reps, and others that can greatly contribute to workflow and efficiency.”
“We are the only tool that not only focuses on guiding every team member, but also gives a wide view of all of the players in the room and captures data on what they do,” she added. “This data collection enables future innovation for medical device companies. We have a vision of the future where predictive analytics will passively collect additional data points throughout a procedure and intelligently feed them into workflows for greater efficiencies and patient outcomes.”
Robotics requires steep learning curve
Robotics is transforming healthcare worldwide, enabling surgeons to perform cases with more precision and providing minimal downtime for the patient, said Explorer Surgical. But the increased learning curve in robotic surgeries presents a unique set of challenges for coordination and collaboration in the operating room.
For robotic surgeries to be most effective and efficient, even the highest-performing surgeons and clinical teams need to overcome the learning curve for setting up in an OR, proper intraoperative use, new ways of communication, and more, the company said.
Founded in 2015, Explorer Surgical was a Department of Surgery research project at the the University of Chicago Medical Center. Collaborating with Fried was Dr. Alex Langerman, a speaker and author on surgical ethics, video and data recording in the operating room (OR), OR efficiency, and clinical care of head and neck cancer patients. Today, the company has a global reach and has several customers, including some of the world's top 10 largest medical device companies.
By supporting surgeon proficiency, increasing clinical team satisfaction, and reducing OR inefficiencies, ExplORer Live can help increase hospital revenues for a return on investment (ROI), it said.
ExplORer Live to demystify robotic surgery
Explorer Surgical claimed that ExplORer Live can “demystify the black box of the operating room with an on-demand procedure playbook, real-time video collaboration, and performance-tracking tools to support medical device companies, accelerate product adoption, reinforce techniques, and support successful outcomes.”
“With ExplORer Live, all the processes and workflows of a robotic procedure are accessible before a surgical team does any case—whether it's the first or the 100th case—a tremendous support for creating consistency when using robotic technology,” said the company. It said that surgical teams and medical robotics companies have access to the following:
- All images, PDFs, and videos about the system, surgical techniques, and a step-by-step workflow for each team member in the OR. The digital playbook is customized to the clinical team's role, procedure type, and surgeon preferences.
- Surgeons can broadcast in real-time to provide clinical education, remote collaboration, or demonstrations to potential users.
- The platform can capture robust video and procedural data used by a surgeon or in partnership with a medical robotics company for performance tracking, identifying opportunities to reduce variability, post-market feedback and analysis, and future product development.
OR efficiency and post-market data analysis are critical to support the successful adoption of robotic technology, and it supports a company's continuous improvement and innovation.
For example, researchers recently used ExplORer Live to measure inefficiencies during the setup of an OR when prepping for a procedure. They found that inefficiencies can prolong the time of a case by 24.7%. These inefficiencies consisted of missing items, a compromised sterile field, and patient or equipment positioning. ExplORer Live's digital platform helps teams anticipate everything needed during a procedure, minimizing the potential for inefficiencies from even happening.
“When we are doing robotic technology, it's brand-new to several people,” said Vasili Karas, MD, MS, orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedics at ush University Medical Center in Chicago. “It is not like changing from one implant vendor to another. It's a true paradigm shift in the operating room, so having a learning tool like ExplORer Live to bring all of the various steps and instruments together in one place is huge.”
“Surgical efficiency and data collection are at the core of performance-guided surgery,” said Anthony Fernando, president and CEO of Asensus Surgical. “Data-driven insights into how devices are actually used are invaluable to the adoption of innovative approaches, especially those that create an entirely new dynamic for setup, interaction, and communication. The opportunity here is to not only make best practices easily accessible when it counts most but derive actionable takeaways from how those best practices are used and adhered to.”
ExplORer Live has been successfully implemented in the ORs of top hospitals, such as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The company said it has experienced sixfold growth year-over-year, and it has on-boarded more than 20 new medical device customers across multiple therapeutic areas.
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