Dr. Khalid Kurtom: How spine innovation will evolve in value-based care


Khalid Kurtom, MD, medical director of system operations at the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health in Easton, discusses big technology trends in the spine field.

Question: What emerging technology or technique do you think will have the biggest impact on the spine field five years from now?

Dr. Khalid Kurtom: Robotics and neuro-navigation are two areas receiving national and international attention in spine surgery. Currently there are systems that are used in placing spinal instrumentation with great accuracy. The goal moving forward is to develop systems that can complete the entire spinal operation, not just the instrumentation. This requires innovations in micro-optics and micro-instrumentation.

Q: What do you think will fade or disappear from the spine field over the next few years?

KK: Nothing specific will 'disappear,' but more emphasis will be placed on minimally invasive spinal procedures versus open multi-level spine surgeries. Quality and financial metrics are driving this discussion.

Q: Where do you see the biggest room for innovation in spine?

KK: Development of minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and developing ways to enhance recovery after surgery. The goals are to reduce length of stay, enhance return to work, reduce narcotics dependence, reduce cost of care and improve overall quality of life and performance metrics.

Q: What do physicians need to provide better care that doesn't currently exist?

KK: Collaborative effort by all spine surgeons, orthopedic and neurosurgeons, to develop best practice standards to accomplish the goals listed earlier; mainly better quality for less cost. We are very much a heterogeneous group at this point, and we need to unify our practices.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com

For a deeper dive into the future of spine, attend the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + Spine, Orthopedic & Pain Management-Driven ASC in Chicago, June 13-5, 2019. Click here to learn more and register.

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