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Wireless Surgical Camera Positively Impacts Efficiency and Patient Safety

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 02 Feb 2024

Arthroscopy, a minimally invasive surgical technique for examining, diagnosing, and treating joint problems, involves the use of an arthroscope—a slender tube with a lens system. Inserted through a small cut, the arthroscope is linked to a video camera and light, allowing for the visualization of the surgery area. The video feed is transmitted to a monitor in the operating room (OR) through a monitoring system, enabling surgeons to view the joint's interior. The camera and light are connected to an instrumentation tower by two cables that supply power and fiber-optic light. These cables, which often run across or around the patient, have been associated with patient burns and healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) due to potential breaches in the sterile field. Now, a wireless surgical camera for arthroscopy that is designed to eliminate cable-associated burdens has been found to have a positive impact on efficiency and patient safety in a suability analysis.

Lazurite’s (Cleveland, OH, USA) ArthroFree is the first FDA-approved wireless camera for arthroscopy and general endoscopy. This innovation replaces the traditional two-cable camera system used in these minimally invasive surgeries, where one cable delivers power and the other provides fiber-optic light. The elimination of these cumbersome cables allows surgeons to operate with greater dexterity, precision, and focus, reducing interruptions and contamination risks and enabling them to concentrate on the patient's care. In a human factors usability analysis, feedback was gathered from 82 surgeons and six other medical professionals about ArthroFree. The study covered aspects like ergonomics, user-friendliness, image quality, and patient experience. Responses were collected after design validation testing (pre-FDA clearance from 76 participants) or clinical evaluation (post-FDA clearance from 12 participants). Participants, varying in their experience with minimally invasive surgery, came from 10 medical institutions. They were trained in using ArthroFree and then used the device in a surgical procedure on a patient or model, with their experiences evaluated through a 13-statement human factors survey using a 5-point Likert scale.

Image: The ArthroFree wireless camera allows surgeons to operate with optimal dexterity and surgical ergonomics (Photo courtesy of Lazurite)
Image: The ArthroFree wireless camera allows surgeons to operate with optimal dexterity and surgical ergonomics (Photo courtesy of Lazurite)

Of the 88 participants, 94.32% rated the absence of cables as having a positive impact on efficiency as “good” or “excellent,” and 90.91% similarly responded regarding patient safety. Moreover, 88.10% expressed confidence in performing surgery with ArthroFree comparable to their current devices. In addition to the survey, one-on-one interviews with 15 surgeons from nine medical facilities provided qualitative feedback. All 15 highlighted “untethered movement” as a key benefit. Other frequently mentioned advantages included reduced setup and teardown time (noted by 11 out of 15 surgeons) and enhanced efficiency in the OR (mentioned by 8 out of 15).

“The ArthroFree Wireless Camera System is designed to free the surgeon from the tethers of video power and fiber-optic light cables in order to allow more ergonomic and efficient surgical movements and enhance the safety of the OR,” said Dr. Jeff Ustin, a critical care surgery specialist. “The favorable survey scores and benefits expressed by surgeons in this analysis support the usability of the first wireless surgical camera and a high likelihood of user adoption.”

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