'Black boxes' collect data during surgeries at Stanford Hospital

Stanford (Calif.) Hospital has installed "black boxes" in four operating rooms to collect data that could be used to improve surgical safety and performance.

"I was inspired by aviation and what made aviation the safest form of transportation," said Teodor Grantcharov, MD, PhD, the inventor of the OR Black Box who recently started at Stanford Medicine as a professor of surgery, in a Sept. 28 university news release. "Our patients are not aircraft, but a lot of the methods — the culture, the approach to safety, the never-ending pursuit of 'safer' — are transferable."

The black box is a system of sensors and data recorders that collects information that is then synchronized and analyzed by artificial intelligence. It might be used to, say, increase efficiency, improve compliance or reduce environmental impact. Faces are blurred and voices are distorted in the videos, which are deleted after 30 days.

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