USC researchers use AI to evaluate surgeons' performance

A team of researchers from the Center for Robotic Simulation and Education at the Los Angeles-based Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California described how they used artificial intelligence to measure surgeons' performance in an article for JAMA Surgery.

The current standard for evaluating surgeons is peer review by an expert evaluator, either during surgery or from video footage following the procedure, according to the authors. To improve the accuracy of the process and decrease the need for expert evaluators, the researchers developed a method to automatically analyze data captured by surgical robots.

The researchers used a da Vinci Systems recording device to collect performance metrics through endoscopic camera motion tracking and events data, such as energy usage, during robotic surgeries, and used AI algorithms to recognize patterns in a surgeons' performance. They found the algorithms could "objectively measure surgeon performance and anticipate patient outcomes."

"Systems data captured directly from the robot provide a novel opportunity to more accurately and objectively measure surgeon performance," the authors wrote. "In the near future, we will be able to personalize surgeon training."

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