May 2023 - Technology and research
Modern healthcare is underpinned by evidence and this comes in the form of research and development. We are currently seeing a huge drive towards implementing new and innovative technologies into healthcare and surgery, in particular. As Director of the National Institute of Healthcare Research (NIHR), I am tasked with improving access to healthcare professionals that wish to understand more about technology but also assessing and appraising which technologies are most useful.
In our practice we ensure that we are using the latest evidence-based techniques and that the latest technologies that we use are appropriately researched and safe. I am often involved in producing consensus research papers on such techniques including fluorescence imaging, robotic surgery, digital technologies and others.
There is no doubt that surgery has moved on over the last 50 years but it is important that we also safely use any technologies that are put forward so that we can optimise patient benefit. Ultimately, it is the patient that is central to all healthcare research with a view to improve clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and the well-being of the population.