Avail Medsystems, a healthcare technology company whose surgical telepresence platform facilitates real-time, interactive collaboration during live procedures among a network of physicians and medical device industry representatives, announced that it has entered into a partnership with the Stroke Thrombectomy and Aneurysm Registry (STAR).
STAR supports the global tracking and study of health outcomes after endovascular treatment for stroke, brain aneurysm, or other cerebrovascular diseases, with the goal of improving physicians’ precision in choosing effective therapies for patients with these conditions. Researchers at 94 participating institutions across the world use the registry data to publish papers, describing new techniques, devices, and expertise that have the potential to boost neurosurgical acumen and patient care.
STAR principal investigator Alejandro Spiotta (Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA) a STAR registry co-founder, believes that physicians who share experiences with their colleagues are better prepared to improve their skills, adopt cutting-edge ideas, and help patients who previously would have been considered untreatable. Yet, collaboration typically requires travel, and for many physicians, the burdens of cost and time mean that these trips can only happen a few times a year.
To promote STAR members to engage in the collaboration and storytelling needed to advance neurological care, Spiotta decided to implement a technology that would allow STAR members to observe and collaborate during each other’s procedures and offer guidance any time—without leaving their own practices. He selected the Avail system because it allows surgeons immediate, on-demand connection both within the STAR network and across Avail’s broader network of physicians and industry, at the touch of a button through high-definition video, two-way audio, and surgical imaging views.
“Sometimes, we just need to talk a procedure through with a peer or see someone else do it to know it is possible; that’s how we push each other to improve,” stated Spiotta. “The next generation of neuroendovascular surgeons is always smarter than the last because we learn from each other’s stories […] Avail takes storytelling to the next level by allowing us to share live procedural experiences with any of our STAR collaborators in every corner of the world. It breaks down barriers and connects all of us in an international network to a degree that was not previously possible and will help propel the field forward as an experience and knowledge accelerator.”