COVID-19 'severely weakened' surgical innovation, says Johns Hopkins healthcare policy expert

The pandemic imposed a significant delay on surgical innovation, one that will require a good deal of time and funding to overcome, according to Dr. Toby Gordon a healthcare policy and innovation expert and professor at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.

In a May 12 Q&A, Dr. Gordon said the shutdown of elective care and research laboratories made it impossible for most informal interactions between colleagues (where innovative ideas are often born) to occur. She also said it prevented clinical studies from happening, which are often required to develop and test innovative products and treatments.

She said surgical innovation is delayed by a lack of funding. With hospitals still recovering from the elective surgery revenue they lost, they don't have money for innovation investments or new products. With fewer innovations funded, the pipeline gets smaller.

To overcome these delays, Dr. Gordon recommended more community engagement across the research process, more inclusive clinical research participation and dissemination of innovative products in a culturally competent way. 


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