For St. Luke's University Health Network's neurosurgeon, Dr. Steven Falowski, implanting neurostimulators or deep brain stimulators is a common task. Last year, he performed more than 150 neurostimulator and 50 deep brain stimulator implants, and has worked closely with the manufacturer of these devices, Medtronic, on their development and design. However, he recently broke new ground by live-streaming the neuromodulation procedure to Medtronic engineers.
The effort was intended to help the engineers and other design stakeholders become more familiar with how their products are used in real time.
"The live feed, which includes a specialty camera attached to my surgical headlamp, allows Medtronic engineers to see a surgery from my visual perspective and allows the engineers to see exactly how I am using their equipment," Dr. Falowski explained to News Medical. "We've been working to develop this capability for several years."
To protect patient privacy, the camera system is only engaged when the patient is completely draped, with only the operative field being recorded. Even still, stakeholders gained unprecedented insight into how their device is used, as well as valuable knowledge on both the patient and provider experience that can be used to further improve safety and effectiveness.
As a result of the aging U.S. population, an increased number of patients are at risk of pain and disability because of disorders related to the nervous system, including Parkinson's disease, brain tumors and other brain- and spine-related conditions. Such innovative thinking such as that being displayed by Dr. Steven Falowski showcases the importance of working with thought leaders in their fields, as such deep expertise can help uncover new ways of improving device design. Bridging the gap between engineers and providers is also a crucial element for future success in the marketplace.