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White and Williams Participates in Two Robotics and AI Conferences Focused on Surgical Applications in the Healthcare Industry

August 18, 2020

In July 2020, White and Williams participated in two separate conferences that focused on robotics and AI for surgical applications in the healthcare industry – the third annual ISE AI and Surgical Metrics Consensus Conference (July 10-11) and the World Robotic Symposium (July 28-August 2). Both of these conferences were held virtually and brought together professionals from existing and emerging surgical robotic manufacturers, robotic surgeons from a broad variety of medical fields, surgical robotic engineers and designers, robotic surgical educators and government regulators and policymakers. During both conferences, through his involvement as a Board member of the Institute of Surgical Excellence (ISE), healthcare partner Bill Kennedy spoke about some of the legal hurdles to overcome as robotic surgeons, regulators and manufacturers strive to improve patient outcomes.

Working in both plenary and breakout groups over three days, and using an anonymous three-round Delphi process to drive consensus, the ISE Consensus Conference reached agreement for a framework to guide future research and development of AI in surgical education and training, assessment and feedback for the short-, mid- and long-term. As the sole legal professional to participate in the conference, Bill explains that, “My colleagues at White and Williams have learned a lot from defending generations of healthcare providers. Working with the Institute for Surgical Excellence provides a way to offer some of what we have learned to improve patient outcomes.”

The World Robotic Symposium, hosted by the Society for Robotic Surgery (SRS), was a global and virtual assembly of thousands of surgeons, robotic developers, regulators and other contributors from every populated continent. Along with ISE physician leaders, Bill co-hosted an eighty-minute ISE/SRS collaborative presentation on recent developments in improving robotic surgery through training, assessment and leveraging intra-operative data. Speaking after the conference, Bill explained that, “Around the world, robotic surgery is a safe, less invasive, less painful, more precise, more dexterous and much shorter alternative (intra-operatively and post-operatively) to laparoscopic and open procedures, especially for hard-to-reach areas.” He is particularly enthused about “an exciting new phase in development whereby the robot will help the surgical team identify, visualize and avoid potential intra-operative complications.”

A member of the Healthcare Group, Bill Kennedy serves on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Surgical Excellence, a national nonprofit that collaborates with physicians, medical societies, robotic manufacturers and regulators to develop education, training and assessment tools to improve patient outcomes.

White and Williams’s Healthcare Group is a cross-disciplinary group of attorneys that provides a broad range of legal services to entities and individuals in the healthcare industry, including healthcare providers; hospitals and health systems; research organizations; physicians, nurses and allied health professionals; assisted living facilities and home health agencies; payers, self-insured health plans and health plan administrators. These attorneys also provide counseling for companies and investors actively involved in developing and marketing innovative technologies in the life sciences, medical device and digital health arenas. Members of the group also serve as outside general counsel to a variety of diverse health practice groups and hospital networks.

If you have any questions about the use of robotics or AI-related technologies in the surgical space, please contact Bill Kennedy (kennedyw@whiteandwilliams.com; 215.864.6816).

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This correspondence should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation with any specific legal question you may have.

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