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Generational Frameshifts in Technology: Computer Science and Neurosurgery, The VR Use Case

by   Samuel R. Browd, et al.

We are at a unique moment in history where there is a confluence of technologies which will synergistically come together to transform the practice of neurosurgery. These technological transformations will be all-encompassing, including improved tools and methods for intraoperative performance of neurosurgery, scalable solutions for asynchronous neurosurgical training and simulation, as well as broad aggregation of operative data allowing fundamental changes in quality assessment, billing, outcome measures, and dissemination of surgical best practices. The ability to perform surgery more safely and more efficiently while capturing the operative details and parsing each component of the operation will open an entirely new epoch advancing our field and all surgical specialties. The digitization of all components within the operating room will allow us to leverage the various fields within computer and computational science to obtain new insights that will improve care and delivery of the highest quality neurosurgery regardless of location. The democratization of neurosurgery is at hand and will be driven by our development, extraction, and adoption of these tools of the modern world. Virtual reality provides a good example of how consumer-facing technologies are finding a clear role in industry and medicine and serves as a notable example of the confluence of various computer science technologies creating a novel paradigm for scaling human ability and interactions. The authors describe the technology ecosystem that has come and highlight a myriad of computational and data sciences that will be necessary to enable the operating room of the near future.


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