Med Ad News talked to Jennifer Fried, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ExplORer Surgical, which offers the only comprehensive case support platform with video, digital procedural playbooks and real-time intraoperative data capabilities.

Med Ad News: Please discuss how the medical device industry has adapted to digital and remote technology and healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Jennifer Fried: In 2020, every industry had to adapt to digital and remote technology, and healthcare is no exception. Now, experts can virtually scrub into the OR anytime, from anywhere in the world, which removes the barrier to access that was a challenge even prior to the pandemic. 

Device companies are embracing new technology to allow their experts to provide guidance virtually. They are revisiting how they train both reps and providers to ensure higher consistency of device utilization, reinventing the training continuum for reps and HCPs. Digital technology has never been embraced at the rate it is today, and it is here to stay as a permanent fixture in the industry.

Med Ad News: Please explain how AI, AR, advanced analytics, and others make a remote experience in healthcare more robust and comprehensive.

Jennifer Fried: AI, AR, advanced analytics, and more make a remote experience in healthcare more robust and comprehensive, adding value through real-time collaboration and real-time data analysis that opens the door for improved proficiency and efficiency.

Jennifer Fried

Our system supports telestration for appropriately and quickly amplifying guidance virtually without disruption or distraction to workflow and efficiency. It also offers robust features for zooming in and out on objects, procedural areas, and other elements that require better visibility, as well as screen sharing. For example, while a rep in the room may use a laser pointer to highlight key instruments on the mayo stand, a remote rep or proctor may highlight that item remotely on the screen. They can also save a picture of that telestration to ExplORer’s secure server. This allows reps, clinical specialists and proctors, the ability to support and train even without a physical presence in the room.

Med Ad News: How can new technologies thrive in healthcare, specifically in the OR and procedure suites?

 Jennifer Fried: New technology has to be easy to access and easy to use. If the setup is complex, end users won’t embrace your product. 

Med Ad News: What are some of the pandemic’s near-term effects, and what may be long-term effects on the medical device industry?

 Jennifer Fried: Access has generally been restricted to one person, maximum, from a medical device company in the room to support a procedure. Travel restrictions and reduced flight schedules have further complicated the ability to train and support procedures in the way the industry was used to before Covid-19.

As companies and people have embraced remote technology, there is less desire to go back to traveling (for both monetary and personal reasons).

Med Ad News: What are some AI and AR healthcare trends to watch for in 2021 and beyond?

 Jennifer Fried: Object recognition technology is developing at an unprecedented pace, and we will continue to see new applications in the OR and procedure suites. The first area has been applying this technology to in-body cameras such as scopes to identify specific anatomic landmarks, an application of great interest to the large robotic manufacturers. You will see the same technology applied to other areas, with huge opportunity!