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Robots will replace Surgeons

We are living in the midst of the 4th industrial revolution with the fusion of the digital, physical and biological spheres and this is the most exciting time to be involved in Medicine.

The interface of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Wearables, Nanobiotechnology and Genomics will rapidly accelerate the change in healthcare.

Surgical teaching has changed little over the last 100 years and remains an apprenticeship but this archaic model needs disrupting. Simulation has become the stalwart of practical training yet has become almost obsolete due to the cost and availability.

The Lancet commission on global surgery has reported that 5 billion people do not have access to safe and affordable surgery. To provide equitable surgical care we need to think about how to scale up education using the power of connectivity and using future technologies like augmented and virtual reality to allow knowledge to be shared on a truly global scale.

Traditional teaching at medical schools is one dimensional and does not train students to become the innovators and leaders of the NHS which is essential for its existence. Can the learning continuum embrace technology to create better doctors?

Surgeons are moving towards more minimally invasive surgery or virtual scarless surgery and by virtue are embracing robots which will become more autonomous and allow us to move towards the surgical singularity.

This lecture was delivered by Professor Shafi Ahmed. Shafi is a Consultant Surgeon at The Royal London Hospital in London.

About the speaker

Professor Shafi Ahmed is a multi award winning cancer surgeon working at The Royal London Hospital. He is a member of the NHS assembly advising the government on the NHS Long Term Plan and was awarded the Future NHS Award by members of Parliament in 2018. He was also the Asian Star in UK Tech in 2018. He won the Silver Scalpel as best national trainer in surgery in 2015 and has been given the accolade of the worlds most watched surgeon as has streamed live operations using Google Glass, Virtual Reality, social media and on national television on Operation Live which was shortlisted for a BAFTA award in 2019. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for his humanitarian work and global surgical education.

He is the Associate Editor for technology and innovation at the Annals of Royal College of Surgeons and a member of the Editorial Strategic Advisory Board of BMJ Innovations. He cofounded Medical Realities a VR education company and advises major medtech and pharma companies. He is a Non Executive Director for The Considered, a global health marketing agency and Medic Bleep, a communications company

He is an 3x TEDx and international speaker having delivered over 250 keynotes in over 30 countries on innovation, the future of healthcare and digital transformation. His work has been featured in over 400 newspapers, tech journals and mainstream TV news channels including Sky, BBC, ITV BBC World, CNN, ABC, Al Jazeera, RT, China TV, CNBC, Forbes, Bloomberg, Time, Wired, Guardian, The Times.