Virtual proctoring, training to become the new normal in surgical interactions after Pandemic

06/07/2021

Medical device specialists have always been a pillar of the medical world in that they provide case support during procedures. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and people not being able to travel safely due to restrictions set by different countries, remote proctoring has become more important - especially if you don't have access or cannot make it into the hospital. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the need for virtual proctoring. Virtual reality and remote training technologies are becoming more popular even after the pandemic as they allow workers to learn without unnecessary travel and expenses.

Virtual proctoring: A new Normal

Virtual proctoring and training are expected to become the new standard in post-pandemic medical interactions. Experts predict that it will stay due to its value proposition of accessibility, efficiency, affordability - all of which make virtual teaching the next best thing for hospitals looking to cut costs.

Additionally, medical schools use virtual proctoring to provide their students with training as a new method for testing. In the post-pandemic world, it may not be possible to find enough people who can take on the proctor role, and there are many advantages to this type of supervision. For example, you don't need any special equipment or software, and you can set your schedule so that it fits into your life without disrupting it too much. It means that even if someone has been sick, they will still be able to study and keep up academically by following these directions from medical schools around the country.

Benefits of Virtual Proctoring

Flexibility is one of the biggest advantages virtual surgical coaching offers. It allows surgeons to coach remotely on a wide variety of cases, anywhere in the world, without concern for time zone or location constraints. By contrast, working face-to-face provides an opportunity for personal connections that can be lost when conducted virtually only through video conferences and email threads with patients who may not feel comfortable sharing information openly over these platforms. Therefore, it is expected that remote proctoring in surgical interactions is likely to continue even after the pandemic because it is cost-effective and efficient for hospitals, medical professionals, medical device specialists, and medical device companies.

AI and AR-enabled Medical Proctoring

Augmented and virtual reality technology has revolutionized medical training, providing doctors with a virtually hands-on experience while collaborating remotely. Remote proctors can guide surgeons through the process of surgery, instructing when they should perform steps in order not to risk any mistakes or omissions during such delicate procedures. AI has made medical proctoring accessible in real-time, allowing the surgeons to be monitored and guided by their computer screens as they operate on any patient who needs surgery. Different data types collected from this process are used automatically in a surgeon's workflow, with instructions coming onto the screen for guidance during the procedure. Moreover, Medical students miss out on hands-on experience during a pandemic. With Livestream and video access, augmented reality will offer these trainees an excellent learning experience with the faculty's help to interact in real-time through their sessions.

Besides, the live stream of surgical procedures allows medical students in the know to tune in at their convenience for an up-close view as surgeons do their work from afar. Medical professionals use cutting-edge technology that gives them remote access through video-call conferencing to guide trainees with hands-off guidance. Moreover, maintaining control over patient safety every time they take hold of the scalpel makes this unparalleled opportunity worth tuning.

The new normal of AI and AR-enabled medical proctoring has improved the clinician's remote outreach while sustaining a sense of safety for both client and provider. This innovation also improves healthcare by allowing supervisors to assess clinical competency from their offices, enabling them to disseminate knowledge on newly learned trends as they happen, an important step towards increased quality assurance.

Telesurgery and Telementoring

During the pandemic, artificial intelligence is improving surgical proctoring by remotely monitoring surgeons in the operating room. It allows for better case support, which has been helpful when it would be too difficult to provide physical supervision of a surgeon or hospital access was limited due to travel restrictions. Furthermore, with new surgical procedures and tools, AI-enabled telementoring is becoming a popular trend among surgeons. Telementoring allows for remote mentors to control surgery while supervising in real-time from afar instead of working alongside them at all times during an operation like they did before advances were made in robotic surgeries.

Telementoring for the surgeons who are new to minimally invasive surgery can guide video images that allow them to be mentored by more experienced surgeons. These modernized forms of telecommunication networks offer live intraoperative assistance on remote worksites, no matter how far apart they are from one another. Telementoring also allows for real-time video footage of the surgery being performed and provides an opportunity for a mentor in another location to give worksites tips.

Financial Win For medical device companies

Proximie is an initiative that expedites multicentric virtual interactions between far-located guide collaborators. It facilitates physicians and surgeons to have the same interactions as they would during surgeries without being in the room together. Proximie is an innovative platform that utilizes augmented reality (AR), artificial technology (AI), and machine learning (ML) technology to allow clinicians to connect with surgical or lab procedures anywhere in the world. This platform also enables users to interact with each other through these technologies to demonstrate surgical procedures remotely or integrate their progress as if they were there themselves.

We know the virtual world is the gateway to a new reality. But, since COVID-19 restrictions have put a damper on international travel, Proximie has seen a phenomenal demand in their VR technology over the last several months. There's been a 400% increase compared with previous years. Likewise, the company is developing a system that would streamline patient care and build a global network so everyone involved in each situation can have access to data about it. Moreover, making their interactions easier and more efficient while also generating important insights for worksites to guide up-close future healthcare innovations. With such high standards for reliability in today's world, it can be said with some certainty that the future will belong to those who have their own set of rules about how they interact digitally and within themselves.

Stefan Kreuzer is an orthopedic surgeon who uses Proximie to teach surgeons and engineers. He credits the high-quality live video transmission with enabling him to interact in real-time with his fellow experts on robotic joint replacement surgery. Kreuzer acts as an expert for several medical equipment companies and uses the technology to virtually link up with technicians worldwide in real-time to develop new products. He also has his design team that creates next-generation knee and hip implants, which he is currently working on.

Another startup company ExplORer has developed an augmented reality technology for use during surgery. This innovative new tool allows the medical device specialist to mark up areas of concern on-screen with ease and without risk, enabling doctors to offer more attentive care while keeping patients safe from harm. What's more, ExplORer Surgical is a company that provides intraoperative case support and workflow platform for surgical teams, including remote proctoring services, among many other functions, has seen an increase in customers requesting its help. In the first quarter of this year alone, it onboarded over ten new medical device companies to assist them with their needs, double what they have done during the past quarter, according to one representative from ExplORer's team.

On the other hand, Abbott Laboratories integrates virtual reality (VR) with traditional training techniques to help train physicians and surgeons who need the full experience while still learning how to perform catheterizations. Whereas MedTech leads the way with innovation in medical technology by using Oculus Go virtual reality headsets to help doctors make better decisions and improve stent deployment. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) with the Oculus Go headset provides a better experience in the cath lab, allowing doctors to make more informed decisions and correct mistakes.

Last but not least to mentionanother startup Talview, has created proctoring technology for online exams. Using AI, they make sure the exam experience stays secure and offers many features to students, such as watermarking of question papers and copy/paste blocking on their screen when taking an examination. They have also made it so you can't cheat by getting around facial recognition or copying another student's test paper. Talview ensures every candidate gets fair treatment with this innovative product.

Future Perspective

One of the most important changes that have been made in response to COVID-19 is virtual proctoring for training purposes. Having surgical trainees interact with a live person during surgery without actually being there has become more popular as it offers an alternative way to learn, reducing the cost and time needed for this type of education. Virtual proctoring is becoming increasingly common in medical schools, where students learn how their anatomy works by interacting with real human cadavers through VR technology or augmented reality glasses. These technologies will likely be integral parts of any future doctor's toolkit, but they may pose new risks that need further research before saying that these methods are safe enough.