‘What do you guys do?’ may seem like a simple question – and it’s one that every business needs to answer.

The short version is that we aim to make surgeons’ lives easier through the applied use of technology – by enabling remote assistance and better communication during surgery.

However, to do justice to the vital role that surgeons play in life and death situations, articulating our mission here at Rod & Cones requires a deeper explanation.

Surgery: A High Stress Environment

While surgeons are highly-trained specialists, they work in a high stress, tense, and sterile environment. A single mistake could literally be fatal – or lead to complications that could severely impact a patient’s life.

It’s no secret that many require guidance in specific surgeries – from other more senior attending surgeons and from medical device industry product specialists – such as knee, hip, or stent implant surgery.

Device manufacturers are also more involved than many might think. As well as preparing vast amounts of step-by-step information, they often need to be consulted before (and sometimes during) surgery to ensure surgeons fully understand the necessary technical procedures.

Instrumentalists are also needed in the operating theatre – to ensure the right tools are selected, sterilised, prepared, and ready for use. Surgical nurses may also be needed to assist surgeons and ensure intraoperative patient care.

Too Many Potential Points Of Failure

All of this additional intervention can undoubtedly disrupt a surgeon’s workflow – ultimately meaning that in surgery there are just too many potential points of failure. However, responsibility always points back to one person: the surgeon.

Also, in any other industry, when installing or setting up a new device, some form of remote product support – like a helpdesk – is available. That’s not the case during surgery. Other than talking to somebody, there is no other form of communication possible. Manuals can’t be consulted during an operation; steps have to be recalled from memory.

Equally, having an experienced senior surgeon on-call isn’t ideal. For example, say a first year registrar has to respond to an accident emergency at 3 am. He or she knows what to do when in theatre, but as a case becomes more complex they may have to call a superior to assist Not ideal for anyone given how time-critical surgery can be – not to mention the inconvenience and the costs involved.

Better Communication & Collaboration During Surgery

After ten years of working in the medical device industry, we’ve seen firsthand just how all of these issues can impact surgery. It’s a long-drawn-out process, where everyone involved needs to be available; even if they’re only needed very briefly – or in some cases not at all.

That’s why we’re committed to improving the entire experience; to give those who are needed immediate visibility during surgery, without needing to be physically present. Our way of doing this? Smart glasses.

Smart glasses may not be a new phenomenon where technology is concerned. However, we’ve customised ours with the sole purpose of helping medical professionals collaborate during surgery.

High Tech. High Performance. Low Risk

Equipped with high performance remotely operable cameras, our devices allow surgeons, device experts, and senior attending surgeons to communicate remotely, in real-time.

In practice, surgeons simply put the glasses before surgery, pair them to a mobile phone (kept under sterile clothing), and then call the required specialists simply be looking at a QR code in the operating theatre.

In this way, specialists can see and hear everything the surgeon sees. They can then discuss and monitor each case remotely. As a result of not being physically present, experts can be involved for the exact amount of time required – allowing them to ‘attend’ more surgeries.

In a high stakes environment, when millimetre precision is needed, anything that enables better patient outcomes and shorter surgery times – in a way that’s cost-efficient, safe, and non-intrusive is a massive step forward for all involved.

That’s why we exist. And that’s what we’ll keep striving towards.