With each new high-tech tool that hospitals in Indiana deploy, our state’s range of treatment capabilities increases. Today, we’re living in a time of unprecedented technological development in the medical field. All kinds of new devices are being released that can do things like improve patient safety, make difficult surgical procedures easier, detect diseases earlier, or even speed up recovery times. It’s all happening today throughout our state’s many great hospitals.
AI Colonoscopies – A Hoosier First
Northwest Health – Porter is the first hospital in Indiana to offer patients receiving a colonoscopy an enhanced screening with the aid of artificial intelligence built into a new endoscopy module. This new module employs artificial intelligence (AI) to help physicians detect polyps.
The advanced AI software highlights suspicious polyps with a visual marker in real time—serving as the gastroenterologist’s ever-vigilant second observer with a sensitivity rate per lesion of 99.7%. Studies have shown that AI-assisted colonoscopy can increase polyp detection rates, and every 1% increase in adenoma detection rate reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 3%. Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S., with almost 150,000 new cases every year.
“This new technology is the first and only AI system for detection of colonic polyps in the United States and we are proud to offer it to our patients,” said Ashley Dickinson, CEO of Northwest Health.
Robotic Lung Surgery
Robotic lung surgery, a minimally invasive technique that has advantages over traditional surgical methods, has been added at Franciscan Health Crown Point.
Thoracic surgeons have been performing lung procedures using the da Vinci Xi surgical system from Intuitive Surgical, Inc. The technology is called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Many of the recent surgeries using the new system have been on cancer patients.
With the new system, complex procedures can be performed with smaller incisions, which reduces pain and speeds recovery time. Traditional open surgery requires the surgeon to make a large incision in the chest and then spread the ribs to see the lung directly.
The da Vinci technology has multiple arms and a high-definition 3D camera that are inserted through small incisions. The operator sits at a control console next to the bed in the operating room and controls the movement of the robot.
"Basically, you're looking through a camera inside the patient. It's 3D and has a huge amount of detail, much more than you can get on a flat screen," said Dr. Jason Fitzgerald, thoracic surgery specialist. "The robot translates your hand movements, and it's just like having miniature versions of your hand inside the patient."
Next-Generation Hospital Beds
St. Mary Medical Center recently replaced its entire fleet of hospital inpatient beds with the advanced ProCuity model by Stryker. These state-of-the-art beds are completely wireless and feature a low-height profile for advanced fall prevention, providing increased comfort and safety for both patients and caregivers.
“These new beds were evaluated and selected by our nursing and support staff. They will provide the comfort and support patients need during recovery, help to improve patient outcomes, decrease risk of falls, and assist our caregivers,” said Janice Ryba, CEO, St. Mary Medical Center.
Each bed has wireless technology that connects seamlessly to the nurse call system and provides a dashboard at the nurses’ station of all bed data, including bed configuration and exit alarm activity. Caregivers are alerted immediately if any components are out of position.
St. Mary Medical Center has completed a full conversion to the advanced Stryker beds in every inpatient room. The beds can accommodate patients from any floor in the hospital, from a general medical/surgical patient to the ICU. This reduces the need for bed transfers or specialty beds.
New Cancer Tool – Linear Accelerator
Indiana University Health Arnett Cancer Center in Lafayette has added a new linear accelerator to its cancer fighting toolkit. A linear accelerator (LINAC) is a machine that is utilized to treat cancer by generating high energy x-rays or electrons. These x-rays or electrons can be delivered with pinpoint accuracy and are able to conform to a tumor’s shape, resulting in destruction of cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue.
This cutting-edge machine boasts some features and benefits not available anywhere else in the greater Lafayette area. A LINAC uses optimized guided radiotherapy technology to shape radiation beams to precisely match a patient’s tumor. This allows pinpoint accuracy of radiation delivery to the areas that need it.
“This new technology allows us to deliver the most targeted and effective radiation treatment available anywhere. Having the ability to deliver effective treatments in less time with a greater degree of certainty is a win for the patient,” said Matthew Orton, MD, radiation oncologist with IU Health Arnett Cancer Center.
Better Tools, Better Outcomes
Each one of these new hospital tech deployments represents a big leap forward for medical treatment in Indiana. Access to new high-tech tools means that Indiana physicians will be able to deliver better outcomes for patients, which is huge for everyone involved. Anytime medicine can be made safer and easier, it’s going to bring about great results for our state’s medical system.