Dr. Joseph Schwab: Key concepts on AI and machine learning in spine


Joseph Schwab, MD, chief of orthopedic spine surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, examines the key trends in spine fracture management.

Question: What are some trends in pathological spine fracture management?

Dr. Joseph Schwab: In spine fracture management, a main focus for us is predicting which patients will fracture or not. One of the biggest trends in the field right now is using machine learning or artificial intelligence to predict fractures. This trend will allow for prediction models that are currently relatively static to be replaced with AI to offer a more personalized and accurate description of where fractures will happen on a patient.

AI is a field that’s rapidly expanding for the orthopedics industry and we saw this at the recent AAOS meeting in Las Vegas, including a session that I moderated on artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data that addressed the direct application of these tools to clinical care.

Q: What challenges and opportunities do you see as an orthopedic spine surgery chief?

JS: There is a considerable advantage in using machine learning and AI for spine surgery. Transitioning into AI assisted care will provide dramatic changes in spine patient management, improving preoperative planning, surgical execution and patient-reported outcomes.

There seem to be larger and larger medical groups that are expanding outside of their primary market and region. A challenge with this growth is keeping the balance between medical groups expanding to remain competitive without losing control of their brand.

Learn more about key trends in spine surgery at the Becker's 17th Annual Future of Spine + The Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, June 13-15 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register. For more information about exhibitor and sponsor opportunities, contact Maura Jodoin at mjodoin@beckershealthcare.com.

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