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Sensor Integrated Instruments for Surgical Quality Assurance and Process Monitoring

5 pagesPublished: June 14, 2017


Demographic changes will increase the number of surgical procedures in the next years. Therefore, quality assurance of clinical processes, such as the reprocessing of surgical instruments as well as intraoperative workflows will be of increasing importance to ensure patient safety. Surgical procedures are often complex and may involve risks for the patient. For fixation of screws, e.g. in case of pedicle screws, osteosynthesis plates or revision joint replacement surgery implants, the application of defined torques may be crucial in order to achieve optimal therapeutic results and minimal complication rates. In many cases a subjective rating of the surgeon is necessary as no adequate instrumentation is available. With the same subjective feeling, hammering or screwing in are performed to implant e.g. the acetabular component in THA.

Our actual work is dedicated to the implementation of a functional prototypes of sensor-integrated instruments for specific types of intervention (especially in traumatology) and the evaluation of the sensor integrated surgical instruments in combination with RFID technology for smart process optimization in the operating room as well as for reprocessing of surgical instruments and surgical management in combination with a knowledge-based planning, control and documentation system. Complementary (preferably wireless) sensors such for instrument identification, tracking or more complex measurements such as forces, torques, temperature or impacts during surgery as well as during reprocessing of reusable instruments could enable computer network based quality assurance in a much broader and comprehensive manner.

Within the framework of the OR.NET initiative we follow the approach to integrate wireless sensors for measurement of temperature, force-torque as well as inertial sensors for orientation and impact control, depending on the specific type of application for monitoring of workflows during surgery as well as during reprocessing of reusable instruments and devices. The integration of smart surgical instruments into an open networked operating room based on the open communication standard IEEE 11073 knowledge-based workflow system, can help to improve the process and quality management.

Keyphrases: networked operating room, OR.NET initiative, quality assurance, sensor integrated, Smart Instruments, Surgical Checklist, surgical monitoring, workflow management

In: Klaus Radermacher and Ferdinando Rodriguez Y Baena (editors). CAOS 2017. 17th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery, vol 1, pages 264--268

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