Evolution of the digital operating room: the place of video technology in surgery.

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Langenbeck's archives of surgery / Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Chirurgie


washington; swedish; swedish urology


PURPOSE: The aim of this review was to collate current evidence wherein digitalisation, through the incorporation of video technology and artificial intelligence (AI), is being applied to the practice of surgery. Applications are vast, and the literature investigating the utility of surgical video and its synergy with AI has steadily increased over the last 2 decades. This type of technology is widespread in other industries, such as autonomy in transportation and manufacturing.

METHODS: Articles were identified primarily using the PubMed and MEDLINE databases. The MeSH terms used were "surgical education", "surgical video", "video labelling", "surgery", "surgical workflow", "telementoring", "telemedicine", "machine learning", "deep learning" and "operating room". Given the breadth of the subject and the scarcity of high-level data in certain areas, a narrative synthesis was selected over a meta-analysis or systematic review to allow for a focussed discussion of the topic.

RESULTS: Three main themes were identified and analysed throughout this review, (1) the multifaceted utility of surgical video recording, (2) teleconferencing/telemedicine and (3) artificial intelligence in the operating room.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence suggests the routine collection of intraoperative data will be beneficial in the advancement of surgery, by driving standardised, evidence-based surgical care and personalised training of future surgeons. However, many barriers stand in the way of widespread implementation, necessitating close collaboration between surgeons, data scientists, medicolegal personnel and hospital policy makers.