The Dawn of Digital Surgery

by Jean Nehme, co-founder at Touch Surgery

Four years ago, my co-founder Andre and I stepped out of clinical practice for the same reason we joined it to improve patients’ lives. After years spent in surgical training, studying and honing our craft, we were surprised by procedural inconsistencies across surgery, the inability to scale best practices, and the limitations on time and access to gain more hands-on learning. We were deeply concerned about the negative impact these issues had on patient outcomes, so we set out to find a better way.

Technology + Surgery

From iPods to smartphones, digital innovation was happening all around us, and yet, surgery had yet to benefit from this revolution. We quickly realised the future of surgery didn’t lie in our steady hands as surgeons, but instead at the convergence of surgical expertise and emerging digital technologies. Stepping out of day-to-day surgical practice, which we loved, we set out on a mission to deepen and improve surgical training to benefit patients and to improve outcomes. Shortly thereafter, Touch Surgery was born.

Touch Surgery is now a dynamic training tool with over two million users, embedded in over 160 residency programs worldwide, and validated by 15 independent peer-reviewed publications. In addition to improving training and outlining some of the best practices, it showed us the immense capacity of digital innovation to pave the way for safer, more efficient surgery.

Touch Surgery has revealed the readiness and willingness of the surgical community to fuel, inform, and embrace digital tools that help improve surgery. As we work with surgeons and surgical faculty we have found the need for Touch Surgery to host surgical practices specific to surgeons and institutions- and the need for more procedures and more assessment tools. Our team has been busy building the tools that will empower the surgical community to curate surgical procedures, curriculum and assessments on Touch Surgery faster than ever before.

Into the operating room

Touch Surgery’s success was made possible only through the support of the global surgical community. It is this dedicated community of diverse users- the wider surgical team- whom we serve that has inspired us to reach for that next frontier — the operating room (OR).

In the OR, the goal is the provision of safe, high-quality, consistent care for patients. However, there are a host of other variables that can affect the performance of a surgical team and prevent them from realising this goal. To create solutions to address these issues, we have built a world-class team of hardware and software engineers and machine learning and computer vision experts to create the tools that will bring the OR into the 21st century.

We have built the technological infrastructure, the digital tools and surgical interfaces that will empower teams to improve OR preparation, utilisation and team performance. We believe this will lead to better patient care and more (much needed) surgical procedures. In our perfect vision of the world, patients will be able to access the same quality of care no matter where they are.

New name, new platform

We do business as “Touch Surgery”. However, to reflect our broader scope and mission, we have changed our company name from “Kinosis” to “Digital Surgery”. Touch Surgery is a key part of our legacy and remains a critical product line training and preparing the surgeons of tomorrow. Digital Surgery reflects our position as one of the first digital innovators to drive the convergence of technology and surgery. More importantly, it demonstrates our commitment to leading the next stage of convergence with products like Touch Surgery that will fit into a wider digital surgical ecosystem.

From the moment we stepped out of surgical practice over four years ago, we have felt and appreciated the support of the global surgical community. Surgeons from around the world have spent countless hours walking our technology teams through 160 simulated procedures. They’ve been ambassadors of our training tool in their residency programs, and currently, they are opening their OR doors to us. Like us, they came of age during the advent of personal digital technology. And for many, digital innovation in surgery cannot come quickly enough.

For this reason, we hope that in time Digital Surgery will be more than just a name for our company. We hope it will become a facilitator of technology solutions developed by anyone with the skills and passion to improve surgical outcomes on a grand scale. We hope it will push all of us digital surgeons to explore the limits of what is possible in terms of technology, surgical training, operating room performance, access to care and global reach. Come join us on this journey. Tweet about us, blog about us, pilot our products and provide us with valuable feedback, buy and champion our products, or come help us build the training and OR products that will transform the future. Together we can go further. Thank you.