Opinion Review
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Nov 14, 2021; 27(42): 7240-7246
Published online Nov 14, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i42.7240
Digital surgery for gastroenterological diseases
Niall Philip Hardy, Ronan Ambrose Cahill
Niall Philip Hardy, Ronan Ambrose Cahill, UCD Centre for Precision Surgery, University College Dublin, Dublin D07 Y9AW, Ireland
Author contributions: Hardy NP and Cahill RA were involved in the ideation, collation and drafting of this work.
Supported by Disruptive Technologies and Innovation Fund, Enterprise Ireland, Ireland.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Cahill RA receives speaker fees from Stryker Corp, Johnson and Johnson/Ethicon and Olympus, consultancy fees from Touch Surgery and DistalMotion, and research funding from Intuitive Surgery. Cahill RA also holds research funding from EU Horizon 2020 with Palliare and the Irish Government in collaboration with IBM Research in Ireland and Deciphex. Hardy NP is employed as a researcher in this collaboration.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Ronan Ambrose Cahill, FRCS, MBChB, MD, Professor, UCD Centre for Precision Surgery, University College Dublin, Eccles Street, Dublin D07 Y9AW, Ireland. ronan.cahill@ucd.ie
Received: April 30, 2021
Peer-review started: April 30, 2021
First decision: June 13, 2021
Revised: June 27, 2021
Accepted: October 20, 2021
Article in press: October 20, 2021
Published online: November 14, 2021
Core Tip

Core Tip: Here, we introduce the concept of digital surgery and why it is important for everyone involved in the area of gastroenterological disease management. The current state and near-future of the art in this area are discussed, including the use of artificial intelligence methods to provide intraoperative real-time augmented decision making. Moral, ethical and legal challenges pertinent to digital surgery are explored, including the concerns relating to big data in health care and the transitioning role of industry in surgical development, as well as the implications such profound and imminent changes may have on the role of the clinician.