Meenakshi Nevatia, Stryker India, Health News, ET HealthWorld
- How has Covid-19 affected the medical device industry? More precisely robotics.
COVID-19 has created a major upheaval in all sectors of the world and created enormous pressure, especially for the healthcare sector. The industry has faced several operational challenges such as labor shortage for logistics and restrictive movement of service and merchandise labor. The MedTech industry has responded to these challenges and has shown great determination in ensuring an uninterrupted supply of critical medical devices.
As health systems adapted and directed resources to respond to the pandemic, most hospitals and health systems were forced to stop elective surgeries to respond to cases of covid-19. After a few months of containment, hospitals increasingly turned to robotic surgery as healthcare professionals faced increased demand for elective surgeries. With huge delays in patient care, labor shortages, escalating costs, and the given context of the spread of the pandemic, robotics with its greater precision and accuracy has helped healthcare professionals health to improve patient outcomes through faster recovery, which is important in the face of the COVID-19 situation.
As a result, we are now seeing more surgeons choosing robot-assisted surgery over conventional surgery, as stated in the consensus guidelines recently released by the Association of Surgeons of India (ASI).
Technology is at the forefront of healthcare today. How about Stryker’s advancement in this area
At Stryker, we pride ourselves on the breadth and depth of our portfolio that helps us achieve our mission to improve healthcare. Stryker is a company founded on innovation, quality and customer orientation. Innovation is in our DNA and globally we have 10,452 patents. In India, our innovative product portfolio covers orthopedics, medical surgery, hospital and neurovascular infrastructure.
For example: our SPY-PHI, a unique and highly advanced portable imaging system that uses fluorescence imaging (FI) technology, allows surgeons to visualize blood flow in vessels and tissues during plastic procedures, microsurgical, reconstructive and gastrointestinal. In 2019, we introduced this technology in the field of breast cancer for better outcomes and patient safety in India. The results so far have been very encouraging. SPY-PHI is the only technology of its kind in the world that uses near infrared fluorescence imaging during cancer surgery that provides real-time, clinically meaningful and actionable information to improve the quality of care and reduce the overall burden of health care.
Our global R&D center in Gurgaon and test lab in Manesar give us an advantage as we partner with clients in India and around the world to improve healthcare in developed and emerging markets. This reiterates our commitment to accelerate innovation and product development as a research and development engine in various health specialties.
How do technological advances enable healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety? Stryker’s contribution to improving the quality of care.
With the advancement of medical technology, even more in recent decades, patient care processes have become more complex. Patient care requires optimal coordination between healthcare providers, technology, drugs, work practices, processes, etc. According to the National Health Mission report, it is estimated that around 5.2 million injuries are due to medical errors, resulting in around 3 million preventable deaths each year in India. Education and training of clinicians and staff are essential to ensure patient safety, but they are not the only reliable solutions. Advances in technology have the potential to prevent adverse reactions and dramatically improve patient safety by automating tasks, presenting clinical and medication alerts, enhanced diagnostic and consultation reports, personalizing the virtual surgical plan, enabling sharing of information, improving clinical decision-making, avoiding potential errors, reducing disparities in practice and managing workforce shortages as well as making comprehensive patient data available.
At Stryker, our specialization sets us apart. We improve healthcare with evidence-based products and services that improve outcomes. Technologies like Mako and 4K FI visualization are proof of this. While Mako enables personalized surgical planning based on each patient’s anatomy prior to joint replacement surgery, 4K FI helps surgeons visually assess vessel blood flow and associated tissue perfusion before, during, and after transplantation. vascular, gastrointestinal, organ and plastic, microsurgical, and reconstructive procedures. The improved visualization allows surgeons to achieve greater precision during surgery, thus ensuring patient safety.
How do you see the advent of robotics in medical surgery in Tier 2 and 3 cities in India?
In recent years, robotics has created a lot of buzz among the surgeon community. We are seeing tremendous traction from corporate hospitals and hospitals in Tier II and Tier III cities. There is great interest in understanding the global robotics landscape and hospitals are keen to learn more about its impact on patient outcomes.
Surgeons recognize how Mako helps them achieve the precision in bone cuts and alignment that their patients have always desired. The strong clinical results demonstrated by over 250 published and peer-reviewed studies are not transferable to other technologies, and this clinical prowess is what sets Mako technology apart from the rest.
Improving patient outcomes will be the most important conviction for the adoption of robotic technology.
What is the way forward for Stryker to implement robotic surgery in the post-Covid world as the economy opens up?
Robotics and digital innovation are the future of the medical technology space, and this will be a central focus for Stryker globally and in India. We are committed to making Mako known and making it accessible to as many patients as possible. Training surgeons and their operating teams in the use of robotics is an important aspect to ensure that patients can fully benefit from robotic technology. Our clinical programs, including hands-on training, surveillance and a cadaver workshop, allow surgeons to gain personal and up-close experience with robotic arm-assisted technology to improve their surgical outcomes and for patients. And this is an area in which we will continue to focus and invest in the future.