Dr. Saad Chaudhary: AI will help spine surgery outcomes

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Saad Chaudhary, MD, a minimally invasive spine surgeon at New York City-based Mount Sinai, pointed to robotics and artificial intelligence as key players as spine technology evolves.

He discussed why those technologies hold promise on the "Becker's Healthcare Spine and Orthopedic Podcast" on Dec. 2.

Note: This is an excerpt. Listen to the full podcast here.

Question: How do you see artificial intelligence making a difference for spine surgeons?

Dr. Saad Chaudhary:
Being a spine surgeon, we look more into evolving our care and making sure that we're providing not just the best care, but durable and suitable care that can be catered towards each individual patient's needs. Artificial intelligence is in its infancy in healthcare, but we're seeing some good trends where we might be able to use these AI technologies to predict certain outcomes. 

In terms of deformity surgery, these are large surgeries that we perform for certain patients who are in dire straits. We don't want to undertake these larger surgeries without really being granular in guiding our patients about what to expect and how to achieve those corrections intraoperatively. When we place all these parameters about patients such as their disease status, their bone quality, their specifics and spine needs into an algorithm which uses AI technology, we hope we can better predict and better effectuate a good, effective treatment option for them. 

Q: What do you see as some of the most exciting innovations and technology in spine?

SC: We've seen a renaissance in spine and minimally invasive surgery over this past decade. I think the single most important factor in being able to provide our patients with these successful, less invasive treatments has been incorporating various technologies into spine care. 

It started with certain basic things such as the microscope and fluoroscope, and now we have robotic technology and navigation tools. It's fairly commonplace to use navigation to facilitate a placement of hardware and appropriately do a dissection for our patients with minimizing collateral tissue damage. I think that navigation, and to some extent robotics, is gonna help refine our less invasive therapies for our patient population. 

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