6 minute read 20 Jun 2022
Image of isolation rooms

How digital tools can move modern surgery toward a new era of patients´ experiences

Authors
Isabelle Heiber

Partner, Strategy and Transactions, EY-Parthenon GmbH

Passionate about our clients in the pharma and life sciences industry. Driver of growth and innovation. Creative and outcome-focused problem solver.

Elias Eckert

Manager, EY Parthenon GmbH

Strategic advisor in the life sciences sector. Passionate about technological advances and innovation as a basis for growth and the improvement of health.

Sandra Unterseer

Senior Consultant, Strategy Life Sciences, EY-Parthenon GmbH

Dr. Sandra Unterseer joined EY-Parthenon, EY´s strategy practice, in 2020. Her expertise focusses on market analyses, entry strategies, business model development in Pharma, MedTech and Life Sciences.

Local contact

Partner EY-Parthenon, Health Sciences & Wellness | Switzerland

Strategy Partner in Health & Life Sciences. Health and outdoor enthusiast. Passionate about connecting with people and driving impact.

6 minute read 20 Jun 2022

This is the fourth blog post of an EY-Parthenon series, in which we are following the hypothetical future patient journey of Emma, a lung cancer patient, to exemplarily highlight key research areas and technological innovations that have the potential to change our health today and in the future. 

In brief
  • In the near future, pre-operation planning and surgery is going to be facilitated by advanced visualization technologies.
  • Robotic support in the healthcare industry is on the rise.
  • Optimized patient experiences in smart hospitals: Patients may be enabled to check-in (and -out) electronically via their smartphone and be guided digitally to their appointment locations.
  • The future of health care in the hospital is smart and patient-centric

See “The new era of patient experiences” for the start of the series. This blog issue focuses on the third step of Emma´s journey, emphasizing recent advancements for care optimization by leveraging extended reality, robotics, and wireless sensors in smart hospitals.

Blog_04

Augmented reality-assisted pre-operation planning and surgery

After her lung cancer diagnosis, Emma must undergo a surgery during which malignant and parts of the surrounding tissue are removed. The hospital has received Emma´s electronic health record (EHR) including the bronchoscopy and biopsy data. Her surgeon analyzes the images using augmented reality to ensure optimal planning of the required treatment.

In the near future, pre-operation planning and surgery is going to be facilitated by advanced visualization technologies. They have the possibility to create a holistic view of the patient’s anatomy by using augmented reality, which allows different types of information to be visually overlaid, fused or integrated to reality seen through a camera. With the help of AI, anatomical structures can be automatically detected and displayed, including the extent to which a tissue is affected by a disease. With such information at hand, 3D organ or tissue reconstruction models can be built, which is going to significantly ease planning of a surgery. During the surgery, the information can be projected as virtual components in the surgeon’s line of view, facilitating navigation and decision-making. Thus, advancements in the field of visualization technology might enable more effective and precise pre-and intra-operative procedures.

Robotics-assisted remote surgeries

It turns out that the nodule in Emma´s lung is in a location that is difficult to reach, which could cause complications in the surgery. Therefore, her surgeon decides to follow a robotics-assisted approach and to invite a colleague who is highly experienced in exactly this type of surgeries to accompany her during the treatment remotely.

Robotic support in the healthcare industry is on the rise. Advancements in the field of robotics-assisted surgery promise a new era of minimally invasive and precisely performed procedures. Complex surgeries could be performed in hospitals even without local specialist knowledge. Considering the emerging 5G connection standards, a surgery may be livestreamed with high resolution to an external surgeon or expert team for both advice and active surgery control using tele-robotics[iii]. Future remote surgery settings may be envisioned with tele-robotics being integrated into an augmented reality-enabled telesurgery platform to ensure optimal surgery outcome. Thus, robotics-assisted remote surgeries have the potential to facilitate access to high-quality care and to improve patient experience.

Optimized patient experiences in smart hospitals

After the surgery, Emma wakes up in the hospital, feeling a bit dizzy. Needing to go to the bathroom, she slowly tries to stand up – and is quickly helped by a nurse. While Emma was trying to stand up, the sensors in the hospital bed recognized movement and alerted the nurse.

Digitalization is an ongoing trend also affecting hospitals. Thinking of a hospital in the near future2, patients may be enabled to check-in (and -out) electronically via their smartphone and be guided digitally to their appointment locations. Like Emma, patients may have an EHR summarizing their health-related information, so that all required information can be easily accessed, reviewed, and cross-checked. In case lab tests are required, samples may be analyzed and interpreted automatically with results being directly added to the patient´s EHR – a possibility which is very close to reality already. During their stay in the hospital, patients may receive wearable sensors for real-time monitoring of their vital signs and movements, triggering an alert in case of potential risks. Thus, processes in the hospital can be efficiently streamlined and automatized by leveraging smart technologies, which is going to reduce the workload of healthcare professionals and enable them to concentrate their core efforts in providing care for patients.

Summary

Watch  the EY video to see our future vision of a smart and patient-centric hospital.

The advancements of digital technologies are going to reshape our surgery experiences, thanks to developments in visualization technologies, wireless sensors, and robotics. As highlighted in  the EY video, the hospitals of the future is expected to be patient-centric and smart thanks to virtually connected people, environments, and systems for better care. We, at EY-Parthenon, can assist you in creating a virtual care platform that pioneers future patient experiences.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks go to Josselin Meylan for his valuable contribution to this article.

About this article

Authors
Isabelle Heiber

Partner, Strategy and Transactions, EY-Parthenon GmbH

Passionate about our clients in the pharma and life sciences industry. Driver of growth and innovation. Creative and outcome-focused problem solver.

Elias Eckert

Manager, EY Parthenon GmbH

Strategic advisor in the life sciences sector. Passionate about technological advances and innovation as a basis for growth and the improvement of health.

Sandra Unterseer

Senior Consultant, Strategy Life Sciences, EY-Parthenon GmbH

Dr. Sandra Unterseer joined EY-Parthenon, EY´s strategy practice, in 2020. Her expertise focusses on market analyses, entry strategies, business model development in Pharma, MedTech and Life Sciences.

Local contact

Partner EY-Parthenon, Health Sciences & Wellness | Switzerland

Strategy Partner in Health & Life Sciences. Health and outdoor enthusiast. Passionate about connecting with people and driving impact.