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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2020, Volume 14, Issue 4 doi: 10.1007/s11684-020-0784-7

Current applications of artificial intelligence for intraoperative decision support in surgery

. Surgical Artificial Intelligence and Innovation Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA 02114, USA.. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Received: 2020-05-11 Accepted: 2020-07-06 Available online: 2020-07-06

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Research into medical artificial intelligence (AI) has made significant advances in recent years, including surgical applications. This scoping review investigated AI-based decision support systems targeted at the intraoperative phase of surgery and found a wide range of technological approaches applied across several surgical specialties. Within the twenty-one ( =21) included papers, three main categories of motivations were identified for developing such technologies: (1) augmenting the information available to surgeons, (2) accelerating intraoperative pathology, and (3) recommending surgical steps. While many of the proposals hold promise for improving patient outcomes, important methodological shortcomings were observed in most of the reviewed papers that made it difficult to assess the clinical significance of the reported performance statistics. Despite limitations, the current state of this field suggests that a number of opportunities exist for future researchers and clinicians to work on AI for surgical decision support with exciting implications for improving surgical care.

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