Dr. David Zagzag is a Professor of Pathology and Neurosurgery who specializes in brain tumors. In the following article, Dr. David Zagzag discusses how science and compassion converge, transforming the field of neurosurgery, and prognoses for people suffering from brain tumors and neurological diseases.
Recent years have seen the entire healthcare sector transform, thanks to technology, and the same can be said for neurosurgery. With the ever-increasing digitization of the sector, professionals grapple to adopt the latest and greatest innovations brought forth by brilliant minds.
The influx of machine learning and artificial intelligence, smartphone apps, and robotics has already improved thousands of patient outcomes. The field of neurosurgery, has greatly enhanced care by embracing the newest tested technologies, and there appears to be much more to come in the future.
Dr. David Zagzag on the Most Transformative Tech in Neurosurgery
To date, there have been countless transformative technologies in the neurosurgery field. However, experts note these in particular:
Robotics and Digital Interventions
Dr. David Zagzag reports that robotic surgery has seen immense traction over the last half a decade. As such, multiple studies note its accuracy, reduced loss of blood, and decreased time spent in the hospital.
An investigation assigned 135 people with recent cervical spinal disease who needed a screw fixation. The accuracy and clinical outcomes of cervical spinal surgery using the robot-assisted technique tended to be superior to those performed with the conventional fluoroscopy-assisted technique.
While the procedures’ durations didn’t change, the researchers noted the steep learning curve required to become proficient with the robotic-assisted technology.
Dr. David Zagzag also notes that other examinations noted almost identical results — steep learning curves, but improved accuracy, reduced loss of blood, and faster recovery times.
Additionally, these interventions have emerged as transformative forces in the battle against brain tumors. Through the integration of cutting-edge robotics and advanced digital technologies, neurosurgeons can now navigate intricate brain structures with unprecedented precision and efficiency.
These minimally invasive procedures reduce the impact on surrounding tissues, which promotes faster recovery times.
Moreover, digital interventions empower clinicians with real-time data and imaging, enhancing their ability to make informed decisions during surgery. As the synergy between technology and medical expertise continues to evolve, the realm of brain tumor treatment stands poised for groundbreaking advancements, offering renewed hope and improved outcomes for patients.
Experts have also considered the reliability and accuracy of StereoCheck, a smartphone app that offers stereotactic coordinates throughout brain biopsies. The results suggest the app showed promising accuracy (0.82 ± 0.61), alongside high consistency between measurements.
But this is far from the only app that’s been successful in the neurosurgery space.
NeuroKeypoint, for example, has been made for Android and iOS platforms using the React Native framework. A 2021 test of its usefulness in its current state was determined to work successfully on both platforms, with different evaluators marking the frontal, temporal, and parietal targets with a difference of 5 mm or less.
Dr. David Zagzag reports that these tools are quick and reliable for decision making, providing instantaneous communication, knowledge exchange, and data storage.
Remote Monitoring and Programming
Remote monitoring and remote programming have come to the forefront in the postoperative part of the neurosurgery world in the last few years, with studies indicating their effectiveness.
Dr. David Zagzag explains that one such study noted the safety and efficacy of wirelessly programmed deep-brain stimulation of bilateral subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The stimulation was activated one month after operations, with the three-month follow-up showing considerable decreases in UPDRS (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale) motor scores.
Remote monitoring has also emerged as a revolutionary tool in the realm of brain tumor management. With advancements in medical technology, clinicians can now remotely monitor and adjust devices implanted within patients’ brains for therapeutic purposes.
This approach holds particular significance for brain tumor patients, as it allows healthcare professionals to continuously assess treatment efficacy and adapt interventions without requiring invasive procedures.
This real-time connection empowers medical teams to fine-tune treatment parameters, optimize drug delivery, and tailor therapies according to individual patient responses. As remote capabilities continue to evolve, patients with brain tumors stand to benefit from personalized, adaptive treatments that enhance quality of life and treatment outcomes.
Dr. David Zagzag explains that artificial intelligence has found its place in the highly specialized world of neurosurgery and brain tumors. It’s notably used for differential diagnosis, improving precision during surgery, and pre-operative evaluations. The technology has started to mitigate risks of postoperative and intraoperative complications and care.
By analyzing vast amounts of medical data, including imaging scans, genetic information, and patient histories, AI algorithms can swiftly detect subtle patterns and anomalies that might escape human observation.
This not only expedites the diagnostic process but also aids in predicting tumor behavior, enabling clinicians to tailor treatment plans with greater accuracy. AI’s capacity to learn and adapt over time holds immense potential in unraveling the complexities of brain tumors, driving forward the frontiers of personalized medicine and ultimately improving patient outcomes.
The Future of Technological Developments in Neurosurgery
There’s no denying that technology will continue to play an evolving role in neurosurgery, provided careful consideration of the touched-on challenges exists. From remote monitoring devices to robotic surgery, these technologies are forging a much-needed path toward boosted efficiency and cost-effectiveness of patient treatment and care.
Dr. David Zagzag says that as time ticks forward, further innovation will likely achieve cheaper, more accessible products than currently available tools. Plus, they are set to become less complex, closing the above-mentioned skills gap.