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IT from Outside to In

Picture of surgeons at work.New Scientist (5 May 2007) describes transgastric surgery—a technique pioneered in India that passes surgical tools and a camera through the patient’s mouth to operate on their abdomen. The article ends with:

“Historically surgery is notorious for following fashions and ignoring evidence--to the detriment of patients....”

In an article on the 21 May 2007 A Helping Hand for Keyhole Surgery New Scientist describes a three-fingered hand researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed that is assembled inside the patient. Professor Sir Ara Darzi (that man again) endorses the novelty of the idea, because until now surgical toolmakers have concentrated on making keyhole surgery instruments smarter and more articulated.

Regular readers will know of my passion for the full integration of IT with patient care. At the moment IT comes later or is considered nice to have. We should build our care processes with IT on the inside rather than making it smarter on the outside. Then maybe we will have the evidence to underpin improvements to surgery and care.

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