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Thread: Robotic Spinal Surgery Now

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    Robotic Spinal Surgery Now

    Mazor Robotics has developed not only a guided robot for performing spinal surgery, but a program that analyzes a scan and sets up a surgical plan. It isn't hard to see as they build up a data base of surgery information and robotics/software advance, the future will be fully robotic spinal surgery. We are already seeing AI/ML systems that can read scans/pictures better than a radiologist, but soon robots will be better able to perform many aspects of surgery better than a person. Just like self driving vehicles, this will be a major game changer and met with resistance by entrenched interests. Once an extensive data base is built there will be few tasks a robot won't do a better job and this includes surgery where the robot has perfect coordination, sight and appendages that no human can match. This will provide a vast market for semis/nanotechnology in everything from the computers, robotics, scanners, and all the other device involved including monitory anesthesiology in a such a way with speed that no human could match. With progress in all these areas speeding up, regulation and special interests will become the main impediments to implementation.

    We believe in healing through innovation.

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    Last edited by Arthur Hanson; 02-02-2018 at 05:02 AM.
     

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    I can imagine that many patients, including me, would be quite reluctant to have a robot perform any surgery on their body. Having a real surgeon guide the surgery makes sense, but not a software-driven robot doing surgery on it's own. Surgeons have to carry a huge amount of liability insurance, so I imagine that Mazor Robotics will also have to provide some equivalent level of liability insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Payne View Post
    I can imagine that many patients, including me, would be quite reluctant to have a robot perform any surgery on their body. Having a real surgeon guide the surgery makes sense, but not a software-driven robot doing surgery on it's own. Surgeons have to carry a huge amount of liability insurance, so I imagine that Mazor Robotics will also have to provide some equivalent level of liability insurance.
    I have seen and experienced on my own body mistakes by surgeons, one where I was having my leg repaired from an auto accident in an office and the doctor came out and said he was a to alcohol impaired to close me up when I was twelve. Doctors make mistakes all the time in planning and performance. I imagine a doctor will be in back up personally or remotely. Many surgeries can't be done directly by a surgeon as well as one augmented by robot linked to AI/ML. Robot augmentation can do many things a surgeon can't do without them. It's only time befor the robotics is better, many, many functions can't be performed by a person now what a robot can easily do. The "Great Acceleration" is here and advancing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Payne View Post
    I can imagine that many patients, including me, would be quite reluctant to have a robot perform any surgery on their body. Having a real surgeon guide the surgery makes sense, but not a software-driven robot doing surgery on it's own. Surgeons have to carry a huge amount of liability insurance, so I imagine that Mazor Robotics will also have to provide some equivalent level of liability insurance.
    Actually, Daniel, surgical malpractice liability is capped at low amounts in the majority of states. Other than hospital owned practices, often private surgeons carry low insurance limits, such as $100,000 or $200,000, keep collectible assets in their wives names, and use liability insurance essentially as a mechanism to pay for lawyers and expenses, should they be sued.

    That begs the question, in the absence of legislative amendments, would fully robotic surgeries be protected by med mal caps, or would malfunctions be subject to product liability laws, instead? The laws will need to adapt to the age of robots and cyborgs.

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    Dan, also consider many commercial aircraft in emergency situations, the auto pilot can recover the plane better than the pilot. I understand in many situations a pilot has to file a FAA report if he overrides the auto pilot in an emergency situation on up to date modern airliners. I know the Korean Air plane crash in SF, the pilot was to blame when he disregarded the shaking control warning/ system. Many accidents in aircraft have been caused by the people thinking they are smarter than the machine and the gap will only grow.

    Also, consider many medical lab processes are fully automated and much more accurate than a lab technician, would you rather go back to the old system that was very slow, expensive and much more in prone to error and inaccurate?

    0nce a process is perfected on a machine, there is now way person can even come close to matching its performance. The robotic system will be able to copy the best doctors that have used the system from machine learning alone and with AI exceed the best surgeons that have used it by referencing tens of thousands of situations that have yielded the best results in literally a second. If you feel you can beat a machine, try outrunning a Corvette.
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    Last edited by Arthur Hanson; 02-08-2018 at 10:56 AM.
     

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