How the Digital Revolution is Impacting the Field of Surgery


Elaborating upon a previous post, a brief chat with co-founder of the Touch Surgery app- Jean Nehme, takes us through the what, when, how and why story behind the creation of this novel idea.

Bridging the gap between conventional surgical training and newest surgical practices is this remarkable app that fuses technology, domain knowledge and experience in bringing together doctors from around the world. “Learning to operate in the OR is inefficient, variable and not in the best interest of the patient,” observes Jean, “Touch Surgery allows a surgeon to simulate and rehearse the steps of an operation enabling high transfer of knowledge and preparation before entering the OR.”

I tried the surgery to correct the carpal tunnel syndrome. It took me some time to get used to the format but overall the form factor and instructions are easy to follow. The app gives you a real feel of surgery with hand gestures playing a very important role to play. I would give credit to this app for a very close simulation and I am looking to further explore the library and specially try out a few dental surgeries which I last performed in 2005.

With nearly 300,000 users across the world, the app is growing steadily popular, especially in North America and Europe. Given that the app is available in English and Spanish and is currently being translated into Chinese and several other languages, it is sure to gain more prominence in the medical circuit world over in the time to come.

The validity of the app can be further justified by the various studies that have been conducted and research to determine the practical impact of the app in the operating room. “The first peer-reviewed academic study…published in the journal, ‘Injury’ showed the app’s scoring metrics accurately distinguished between expert surgeons and novices,” says Jean Nehme, “In addition it showed wide acceptance among expert surgeons regarding the accuracy of content, who strongly supported that it would be able to train surgeons.”

The purpose behind the creation of the app is not only to enhance surgical knowledge but also increase patient safety. To that end, Touch Surgery provides the perfect simulation platform for training and sharing of information among surgeons. “Unpublished work from Imperial…has shown that the app can significantly improve a doctor’s readiness, awareness and safety in the operating room and outperforms various existing training methods too,” states Jean.

Currently independent studies are also in the pipeline with leading medical institutions such as Stanford, Imperial College London, SIU, Dartmouth and John Hopkins.

Considering that India is known for its fantastic pool of well qualified doctors and is a leading destination for medical tourism, an app like this can go a long way in adding to our credentials. As of now, the company has about 7600 users in India that is set to rise even further, connecting Indian surgical practitioners with their peers from around the world.

Do you think the success of the app will be restricted to only the metros in India?

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

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