There is no question that technology has changed the way healthcare professionals practice medicine, permanently. Not only are medical wearable devices helping healthcare providers care for their patients in a new and more connected way, but robotic surgery has become increasingly prominent as well. These technological advancements were designed to make surgery and recovery from it much easier on both the surgeon and patient, however, the question has become: how do we know that using this new technology has better outcomes than traditional practices?

What is robotic surgery?

During a robotic surgical procedure, the surgeon works through a computer in the operating room and controls instruments attached to robotic arms in order to complete the procedure through tiny incisions. According to UC Health, “Surgical robots are self-powered, computer-controlled devices that can be programmed to aid in the positioning and manipulation of surgical instruments.”1 While this new technology is certainly innovative, it’s also extremely costly so in order to justify its replacement of traditional procedures, it’s necessary to have solid research to confirm that the practice certainly results in the best outcome for every patient.

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a few key benefits of utilizing robotic surgery methods. Typically, robotic surgery “makes minimally invasive surgery possible. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include fewer complications, such as surgical site infection, less pain and blood loss, quicker recovery and smaller, less noticeable scars.”2 Some additional benefits include reduced pain, shorter hospitalization, and minimal scarring following the procedure.1 Although this new surgical method is showing many benefits, the question of whether the procedure has better outcomes than traditional surgery remains.

Is robotic surgery the future of medicine?

A major contributor to the lack of certainty on this topic is the fact that there is simply not enough comparison data to make a solid conclusion about which procedure has the best outcomes. However, TracPatch may have the ability to change this entirely. With pre and post-operative data collection capabilities, the device could be placed on two groups of patients, one group undergoing a robotic surgery procedure, and another undergoing traditional surgery, and allow healthcare providers and researchers to compare the data. The device may be the first tool available to collect and compare the data needed to finally make a judgment on this topic. Only time and potentially the adoption and application of wearable technology like TracPatch may solve the question of whether robotic surgery is better than traditional.

What is TracPatch and how can it help?

TracPatch Surface Sensor Technology is a two-piece device that works by adhering to a total knee patient’s leg pre and post-operatively and continuously captures important activity data including range of motion (ROM), exercise compliance, wound site temperature trends, and ambulation, through a centralized app. After the data has been collected it goes into the cloud and is then shared with the patient’s healthcare provider through a provider app and web portal. The wearable device has already begun creating a new and more connected relationship between surgeon and patient; however, the technology may be utilized to do even more. For more information about TracPatch contact us today.

References:

  1. Benefits of Robotic Surgery. Retrieved August 1, 2019, from https://www.uchealth.com/services/robotic-surgery/patient-information/benefits/
  2. Robotic surgery. (2019, January 30). Retrieved August 1, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/robotic-surgery/about/pac-20394974