Tony Yi, chief technology innovation officer at MedVanta, connected with Becker's to discuss what's next for artificial intelligence and augmented reality in orthopedics.
Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Tony Yi: It's exciting to be where we are today; what we've been saying technology could potentially do for years and years is now readily available. We've seen how data and analytics can be used to provide insight and in developing stronger business and clinical capabilities. For more advanced AI and AR utilization, though, I believe what's making progress is the ability to enhance surgical planning and having intraoperative guidance during surgery. The benefits would be even more pronounced in complex cases to reduce complications, resulting in the best clinical outcomes for patients. Along those lines, post-surgery, AI could be used to create highly effective therapy and rehabilitation plans, taking into consideration personalized patient data (records, imaging, medication, history) and other determinants of health. Applying AR during this continuum, patient progress and the need for intervention can be administered and managed in real time. All these things support improved patient outcomes and total cost of care, if done correctly.
In the near future, combining AI, AR, and digital twins would allow surgeons to create a digital instance of the actual patient, overlaid with real-time data. In this example, a surgeon could do digital surgery and replicate it exactly on the actual patient the very next day. That surgeon could even model different scenarios using different surgical means and even model post-surgery care, applying different treatment plans. The opportunities are endless, and that is why I am so excited about how far technology and innovation have come.
As a healthcare leader, I would be remiss if I didn't say that while technology and innovation can be transformative and exciting, organizations that strive to be innovative must have the right planning, strategy and culture. Without those things, organizations will not maximize the opportunities surrounding them and will end up with failed initiatives and high technical debt.