Finally, software eats surgical video storage and management

by Dr. Andre Chow, Chief Product Officer, and Co-Founder, Digital Surgery

I still remember the day the grey-colored box – 1 TB of grey metal and wires – arrived in the mail. I had just started my surgical residency at a large academic hospital in Central London, known for having the best minimally invasive surgeons on staff. The box, in a way, represented my hopes and dreams as a young surgeon. I wanted to fill it with recordings of all the surgeries I assisted on. I wanted to rewatch every procedure, to hone my craft, and to become the best surgeon I could be.

My idea, whilst a good one and gaining support in the academic literature, was flawed. What I didn’t account for was the horrendous experience of having to find my videos in a labyrinthine structure of folders and sub-folders. In between cases, when I managed the resolve to retrieve and fire up my personal laptop, connect the grey-colored box, and attempt to locate a case, 30 minutes would have gone by and the next patient would be ready. I grew so frustrated that I briefly wondered whether DropBox, a 2-years old company offering general purpose cloud storage, would be a better solution. I ultimately decided against it because I feared storing videos with potential PHI on a platform that wasn’t specifically-designed to do so. Inevitably, the inability to easily manage and access these videos meant that they faded away into a sea of random naming conventions, indistinguishable from each other, never reviewed again and was useless to me as a young, hungry surgeon.

Fast forward a couple of years. Jean, my co-founder, and I started Touch Surgery, and we still found ourselves regularly working with surgical videos. Our app-based education service utilized surgical videos routinely as reference material or as part of the final product (after ensuring we had the required consent and the videos were free of PHI). We found that the same problems plagued us and our team: potentially sensitive information in videos, the recorder splitting a single procedure into multiple files, and excessive video lengths making access and navigation difficult. As our company grew, it became harder and harder to locate the right reference file easily.

My personal and professional experience with surgical video storage makes me extremely proud to announce the launch of our newest product: Touch Surgery Professional, the world’s first AI-driven surgical storage and analytics platform. It started as an internal tool for our team to store and catalog surgical videos, but after receiving positive feedback from surgeons, we’ve decided to release it to the surgical community.

Touch Surgery Professional is an extension of our academically-validated approach to surgical education. The foundation of this approach is the concept that complex procedures can be broken down into a series of steps and decision points, which are easier to learn, review, and teach. The product automatically safeguards Protected Health Information (PHI) in surgical videos uploaded to the cloud platform. Safeguarded videos are securely stored online, utilizing above-industry security and encryption standards. Once on the cloud platform, videos can be indexed and annotated for easy search and navigation, and can be seamlessly accessed across mobile and web interfaces. Most importantly, our built-in AI capabilities automatically identify outlier cases for postoperative review, making it possible to quickly spot procedures to transform into fantastic learning opportunities.

Our pre-registration pages have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of interest from surgeons who saw our social media posts. Surgeons from all corners of the world, from Auckland, to New Delhi, to Minnesota, signed up for early access. They, like us, believe this product can change the way surgeons of all experience levels use surgical videos, whether for self-reflection, documentation, teaching, learning, or peer review. If you missed early registration and would like to be part of our limited-time free trial, please don’t hesitate to click here and sign-up.

Ten years ago, Marc Andreessen, Silicon Valley venture capitalist, boldly claimed that “software is eating the world.” He projected that any product or service that could become software would do so. This transformation would be driven by many reasons, and chief among them would be to improve the consumer’s experience.

Out of scrubs, surgeons expect their music, movies, TV shows and workout routines to be streamed without interruption via a professional service provider. So why is it that, in 2019, surgeons still use hard drives to store surgical videos and spend hours accessing and editing them? It’s about time for software to eat surgical video storage and management.

This is a truly exciting time for myself and the company. We hope it marks a turning point in unlocking the latent potential of surgical videos. Join us in shaping the future of surgery and take control of your surgical videos.

Learn more about Touch Surgery Professional.