Brain surgery aided by artificial intelligence may become a reality within the next two years, promising enhanced safety and effectiveness, according to a prominent neurosurgeon.
Aspiring surgeons are actively engaging with this cutting-edge AI technology, honing their skills for more precise keyhole brain surgeries. This groundbreaking innovation, developed at University College London, serves as a valuable tool by highlighting small tumors and crucial anatomical structures, including delicate blood vessels deep within the brain.
The potential implications for healthcare in the UK are substantial, with the government acknowledging its transformative potential.
Precision is paramount in brain surgery, where even the slightest deviation from the intended path can have fatal consequences. Safeguarding the pituitary gland, a structure no larger than a grape situated at the brain’s core, is of utmost importance due to its control over the body’s hormonal functions. Any mishap can lead to severe consequences, including blindness.
Consultant neurosurgeon Hani Marcus from the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery explains, “The margin for error is incredibly narrow. If your approach is too conservative, you risk leaving tumor remnants. Conversely, if it’s too aggressive, you jeopardize these vital structures.”
Remarkably, the AI system has analyzed over 200 surgical videos of pituitary procedures, achieving a level of expertise in a mere 10 months that would typically take a surgeon a decade to acquire.
Mr. Marcus affirms, “Even experienced surgeons like myself can benefit significantly from AI assistance in delineating these critical boundaries. In a few years, we could have an AI system with unparalleled exposure to surgical cases.”
Trainee Dr. Nicola Newell also lauds the technology, finding it immensely beneficial for orientation and step-by-step guidance during simulated surgeries.
Viscount Camrose, an AI government minister, expresses enthusiasm, noting, “AI has the potential to drastically enhance productivity in virtually any field, almost like turning you into a superhero version of yourself.”
He emphasizes that this technology could be a game-changer in healthcare, promising improved outcomes for all and a very promising future.
University College London (UCL) is among the 22 universities recently allocated government funding to spearhead healthcare innovation in the UK. Engineers, clinicians, and scientists are collaborating on this groundbreaking initiative at the Wellcome/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences.
Source BBC News