Virtual proctoring, training poised to be new normal in post-pandemic surgical interactions

Prior to the COVID-19 public health crisis, momentum to transition operating rooms into digitally-connected learning environments was building. Social distancing mandates accelerated those efforts.

Prior to the COVID-19 public health crisis, there was momentum to transform operating rooms into digitally connected environments to allow surgeons to collaborate and medical device companies to share best practices and products. Social distancing mandates over the past year accelerated those efforts as virtual reality and remote training technologies have been widely adopted.

The value proposition of connected surgical care, accessibility, efficiency and affordability, is positioning virtual proctoring and training to be the new normal in post-pandemic surgical interactions with experts predicting it is here to stay.

Traditional in-person observation and proctoring is a resource-demanding undertaking for medtechs, given the travel expenses and staffing logistics involved, compared to the virtual collaboration that arose out of necessity in 2020. Flexibility and scalability are two advantages the technology provides for virtual surgical coaching. At the same time, the personal connection that comes from working in-person can be lost in virtual settings.            

While digitizing the operating room environment was previously seen with a five- to 10-year horizon, the challenges COVID-19 presented in connecting experts has fueled the need to more quickly digitize surgery.

Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO of tech startup Proximie, said one of the challenges with virtual surgical collaboration is that the OR traditionally is “inherently analog” and not digitized and data-driven.

“Imagine if we could digitize the OR and connect every operating room together” to allow surgeons to collaborate with each other and medical device companies to share best practices, Hachach-Haram, a reconstructive plastic surgeon, said. “We have these teams working together is an immersive interaction that is dimensional and experiential. Having a proctor there virtually for difficult cases is meaningful.”


Image Credit: Depositphotos


About Peter Coffaro 472 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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