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In JMIR medical informatics ; h5-index 23.0

BACKGROUND : Techniques utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) are rapidly growing in medical research and development, especially in the operating room. However, the application of AI in the operating room has been limited to small tasks or software, such as clinical decision systems. It still largely depends on human resources and technology involving the surgeons' hands. Therefore, we conceptualized AI-based solo surgery (AISS) defined as laparoscopic surgery conducted by only one surgeon with support from an AI-based surgical assistant system, and we performed an electronic survey on the clinical desire for such a system.

OBJECTIVE : This study aimed to evaluate the experiences of surgeons who have performed laparoscopic surgery, the limitations of conventional laparoscopic surgical systems, and the desire for an AI-based surgical assistant system for AISS.

METHODS : We performed an online survey for gynecologists, urologists, and general surgeons from June to August 2017. The questionnaire consisted of six items about experience, two about limitations, and five about the clinical desire for an AI-based surgical assistant system for AISS.

RESULTS : A total of 508 surgeons who have performed laparoscopic surgery responded to the survey. Most of the surgeons needed two or more assistants during laparoscopic surgery, and the rate was higher among gynecologists (251/278, 90.3%) than among general surgeons (123/173, 71.1%) and urologists (35/57, 61.4%). The majority of responders answered that the skillfulness of surgical assistants was "very important" or "important." The most uncomfortable aspect of laparoscopic surgery was unskilled movement of the camera (431/508, 84.8%) and instruments (303/508, 59.6%). About 40% (199/508, 39.1%) of responders answered that the AI-based surgical assistant system could substitute 41%-60% of the current workforce, and 83.3% (423/508) showed willingness to buy the system. Furthermore, the most reasonable price was US $30,000-50,000.

CONCLUSIONS : Surgeons who perform laparoscopic surgery may feel discomfort with the conventional laparoscopic surgical system in terms of assistant skillfulness, and they may think that the skillfulness of surgical assistants is essential. They desire to alleviate present inconveniences with the conventional laparoscopic surgical system and to perform a safe and comfortable operation by using an AI-based surgical assistant system for AISS.

Park Soo Jin, Lee Eun Ji, Kim Se Ik, Kong Seong-Ho, Jeong Chang Wook, Kim Hee Seung

2020-May-15

artificial intelligence, laparoscopic surgery, solo surgery