The Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona (CZFB) has organized the Barcelona New Economy Week (BNEW), which is being held this week at the Consorci’s DFactory. In this third edition, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the medicine sector have starred in one of the talks. Chandana Fitzerald, Chief Medical Officer of Healthxl, Ferran Fillat, Chief Medical Officer of TailorSurgery, Jordi Colomer Health Consultant of VDMHealth and Jordi Ferrer, its CEO, have led a round table in which they have talked about how AI and robotics are going to Define the healthcare industry.
The implementation of artificial intelligence in hospitals is still premature, as explained by Ferran Fillat, who explained that we are in an “initial phase of digitization in medicine”, although he is optimistic: “We will need a few years to be able to adopt her. We are at the beginning of digital surgery that will probably be the future”. In the field of traumatology, technology is already playing an important role with 3D printing in orthopedic surgery, but it is yet to be explored in other specialties. Along the same lines, Jordi Ferrer stated that “implementation is scarce and incipient in some aspects”. Really only 3% of surgeries performed in Spain have a robot in command. “Robotics has started but robots are not yet autonomous, they are instruments that help to operate, but do not operate”, added Ferran Fillat.
The speakers have pointed out the need to introduce changes in the training of doctors, which is not yet digitized, as a way of changing the paradigm. At the moment, society is reticent about technology in clinics and hospitals. “The health sector has not yet recovered from the ‘medical error is human’. It is humbling because we still don’t know more than what we are trying to fix”, concluded Jordi Colomer.
Chambers for diagnosis
Error-free prescriptions, proposals to the doctor, surgical intervention devices and the patients’ mobile phones as a diagnostic tool, are some of the ideas that the speakers have shown. Jordi Ferrer, the CEO of VDMHealth, has spoken about the importance of data. Thanks to them, they have developed a technology that allows to measure vital signs through a mobile camera.
At the round table they have also discussed the need for artificial intelligence to help make “more inductive and less deductive” decisions, and they emphasize changing culture more than technology. “Doctors do not know about AI and we apply the medicine that they have taught us: if we doctors do not understand it, the patients less so,” explained Ferrán Fillat. This traumatologist believes that artificial intelligence must be prescribed for those treatments that benefit the patient. In this regard, Jordi Ferrer has added: “The AI is not understood, it is the smart machine, it does not want to replace the doctor but to give it value. We are going to understand our elements, that the authorities allow us to grow in these new issues”.
The challenge of technology, as they have explained, is to create added value in consultations, hospitals and operating rooms, using data management to end the disparity of criteria.