BERLIN & BASEL, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–caresyntax, a pioneering developer in surgical automation, analytics and AI, announced today the launch of a research and development collaboration with Insel Gruppe AG, the largest and leading healthcare system in Switzerland. The collaboration – which includes both data-services as well as co-research and development – aims to automate and standardize surgical skills assessment using machine vision and deep learning, with the potential to enhance surgical skills and enable a higher quality of care for both patients and caregivers. Particularly for high-learning curve modalities, such as surgical robotics, an AI-driven skills assessment application has the potential to improve utilization and standardize best practices for surgeons learning how to conduct new procedures.
“The initial goal of the partnership was to focus on automation of surgical training,” said Dennis Kogan, caresyntax Chairman and CEO. “However, with the sheer scale of data resources available, the quality of that data, and the support of expert-annotated training data provided by Insel Gruppe, we realized we can go all the way to real-time clinical decision support, which can be deployed with sophisticated devices, such as surgical robots.”
Thanks to Prof. Guido Beldi and his team of hepatobiliary surgeons at the Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Inselspital, in Bern, the project will be augmented with over 1 million frames of rich, surgeon-annotated, laparoscopic cholecystectomy video. To build the machine vision algorithm, the caresyntax development team will further contextualize Prof. Beldi’s procedural videos with anonymized patient metadata from the EMR, as well as clinical outcomes data for over 500 laparoscopic cholecystectomy cases.
“The caresyntax-Insel AI application will be the first of its kind, which has the potential to go beyond the confines of academic research and make a tangible, broader impact on the standardization of surgical skill in healthcare,” said Michael Dahlweid, M.D., Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Insel Gruppe. “Unlike prior initiatives to implement surgical machine vision, the caresyntax-Insel application will distinguish itself with a much larger and more focused training data set. Additionally, the application will assess and ultimately benchmark the quality and safety of care through expert surgeon annotations reflecting both the skill dimension level, (e.g., bimanual dexterity, motion efficiency, etc.) as well as instrument and tissue handling at the event level.”
The partners expect to publish preliminary results by late summer 2019 and present them at the Intelligent Health Summit in Basel, Switzerland, in September 2019. The full project will be completed by 2020, with an eye toward commercialization of the application immediately thereafter.
caresyntax utilizes its proprietary, best-of-class workflow automation and data warehousing platforms to design software applications that support surgical vendors, healthcare improvement companies and caregivers in identifying and managing risk, automating workflows, enhancing knowledge sharing, and reducing surgical variability. Converging IoT technology and surgical analytics, the caresyntax platform is used in more than 6,300 operating rooms worldwide, transforming unstructured clinical and operational data into actionable, real-time insights. Clinical teams, as a result, enhance clinical performance, control surgical variation, and improve patient outcomes. The company was founded in 2013 in Berlin and is currently headquartered in Boston and Germany. Its team of 115 people is located in Boston, Berlin, and other regional offices.
About Insel Gruppe AG
The Insel Gruppe synthesizes the basis of community healthcare with top university medicine, teaching, and research. Insel Gruppe’s 6 major clinics treat around 886,000 patients from over 120 nations each year, and with more than 11,000 employees, is one of the largest employers in the Bern region. In addition, the Spitalverbund consortium is the most advanced furthering education institution for young doctors in Switzerland, seeking to train and advance technical skills in the most cutting-edge medical interventions.
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