Anyone who has worked in a medical setting, or who has had the misfortune of having surgery, will be well aware of just how antiquated the systems and processes are behind surgical procedures. Whereas other industries have deeply embraced digitalization and paper-based forms are fading into distant memory, the surgical arena is one where duplication, manual processes, and screeds of paper are still the norm.

So it is cool to hear about the baby steps that are occurring to help surgical teams modernize what they do. A case in point is a recently announced partnership between DocSpera and the Anterior Hip Foundation.

The Anterior Hip Foundation (AHF) is a non-profit organization that focuses on the advancement of anterior approach hip surgery. Essentially anything related to hip surgery from the front is within the ambit of AHF’s interest. Device innovations, educational programs, technology all contribute to better outcomes. For its part, DocSpera is a company that was founded by surgeons and technologists that is building software tools to increase the successful outcomes from surgery and post-operative care and recovery.

Put the two together and you now have a new web portal designed to encourage communication and collaboration across the surgical community. Operating behind the AHF firewall, all AHF members will be able to access a community education and skill-building tool. AHF seems to be particularly enamored with the tool, potentially an indication of just how behind-the-times this industry is. AHF Vice President, Charles DeCook MD said that:

The AHF is always seeking innovative ways to deliver learning opportunities to orthopedic physicians and staff, and DocSpera’s unique and innovative platform capabilities were instrumental to building and launching our new web portal. Our AHF Members can now enjoy immediate access to a password protected, HIPAA-compliant portal to ask questions, download information, view surgical tips, and participate in near real-time peer to peer dialogue.


I’m a little bit torn here. On the positive side, disseminating information and ensuring that everyone involved in anterior hip surgery has access to the latest research, collegial feedback and a forum for discussion is a great outcome. On the other hand, this isn’t exactly rocket science. Essentially DocSpera is giving AHF functionality that enterprise social vendors such as Box and Jive offered nearly a decade ago.

You’d have thought that, seeing the plethora of machine learning, virtual reality and 3D printing innovations going on, that many of those would be applied to this sector to deliver a genuinely changed game. But, alas, the wheels of progress move fairly slowly in the medical world.

Don’t get me wrong, more collaboration and community dialog is always good but… the world should have really moved on from these tiny first steps.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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