This year's Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) meeting in Baltimore provided a powerful snapshot of how far our discipline has come and how far we can go in improving patient outcomes, surgical techniques and operational efficiency. As chair of SAGES's new Technology Council, I'm very fortunate to be close to the latest and greatest developments in our field.
What were the trends at the show? We're seeing increased development of computer-assisted technologies that enhance minimally invasive surgery. At the end of the day, it's all about minimal trespass and pain, and faster recoveries. It's great to see that robotics is getting better.
We're seeing a little bit of artificial intelligence starting to drop into commercial products. Imaging technologies are progressing.
The other major theme is related to the opioid crisis. More companies are showing a serious interest in providing us with opioid-reducing or opioid-eliminating solutions for pain management. These solutions are not mechanical but biotechnological, and show great potential.
I saw quite a few clever ideas in the SAGES exhibit hall. Here are some of them. These aren't endorsements on my part, but examples of concepts that I found highly intriguing.