Web app to provide robotic surgery analytics to support new workflows

Published: 1-May-2020

DCSL Software and Smith & Nephew collaborate to accelerate digital health innovation

DCSL Software has announce a collaboration with Smith & Nephew to work on an Innovate UK-funded project harnessing data from robotic surgery for a new surgical workflow centred on osteoarthritis treatment of the knee joint.

Contained focal chondral lesions in the knee joint have been the focus of intensive research over the last 20 years.

And, although advances have been made, there is presently no universally-accepted ‘cure’.

Despite lesions usually developing in younger and middle-aged individuals, total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures are not available until late in life, when the lesion has progressed into full-blown osteoarthritis.

Biologic treatment methods for patients under the age of 35 years, while often helpful, are seldom curative, while in the middle-aged, results after biologic treatment are worse.

It is now acknowledged that there is a gap in available treatment methods, with younger patients too old for biologic treatment and too young for a knee prosthesis.

An alternative method of treatment, which has generated some interest in recent years, is the use of small metal implants similar to dental fillings.

These synthetic focal defect implants may be an option for patients aged between 40-70 years old, where bone preservation is critical for future joint replacement. They can also be used to salvage a biological therapy.

Robot-assisted focal defect repair can improve implant positioning and anatomical congruency compared to mechanical guides, which can positively impact on clinical outcome data.

And each time Smith & Nephew’s surgical robot is used in a procedure, it generates rich data, which could offer surgeons valuable insights into operating performance and outcomes.

But the data is so complex that, until now, only specialist engineers could interpret it.

To help drive targeted insights that would help surgeons select an implant and identify its ideal pose based on a quantitative measurement of similarity and congruency with the patient’s anatomy; Smith & Nephew needed a way of transforming complex, procedural data generated from a surgical robot into intuitive dashboards that could be easily visualised by their customers.

After a formal tender and vetting process, Smith & Nephew engaged DCSL Software to translate the sophisticated data feeds from the system into intuitive web and mobile dashboards.

The beta version of the Digital Dashboard web application that DCSL has created collates case log files during each surgical procedure, extracting information used for analytics and displaying key findings in a visually-attractive format.

Darren Wilson, project leader at Smith & Nephew, explains: “We are pleased to be working with DCSL Software on this exciting project to help further develop Smith & Nephew’s multi-asset digital surgery ecosystem and support advancements in the treatment for knee joint replacements.”

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