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Current Musings

  • Writer's pictureankoortalwar

Healthcare data has grown exponentially in size and complexity. Traditional coded data, such as demographics, ICD, and CPT codes, only scratch the surface of the vast healthcare data lake. The deeper end of the lake includes radiology and imaging, pathology, clinical documentation, patient reported outcomes, nutritional data, wearable sensors, population/epidemiological data, environmental data, and genetics. The next generation of healthcare must use methods in modern computing, including artificial intelligence, to harness the wealth of information available. Doctors and surgeons must guide teams of software engineers and data scientists to create synergistic mechanisms of human-designed, machine-powered decision making tools.

  • Writer's pictureankoortalwar

As a clinical research fellow at Penn Plastic Surgery, the biggest lesson I learned was how artificial intelligence can unlock the wealth of unstructured data in our environment. In healthcare, that means unearthing information from things that could not traditionally be put in a risk model: radiology, pathology, clinical notes, pain drawings.

Our nascent efforts in preoperative abdominopelvic image analysis for incisional hernia (IH) prediction have yielded the below result! There are key pathophysiologic drivers of IH which can be appreciated on preoperative CT imaging. For example, these two colorectal surgery patients have been matched on many characteristics, but the patient on the left does not develop IH whereas the patient on the right does! One difference is the patient on the left has less visceral adipose than the patient on the right. Body habitus, which can be quantified and appreciated with image analysis, may play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of IH!

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

This is a cool case I saw during my rotation at Weill Cornell Plastic Surgery. It was a 28-year old male who had an above knee amputation. He suffered from neuroma pain, phantom pain, and poor fit with his socket prosthetic. Together with the limb lengthening specialists at Hospital for Special Surgery, we provided him an osseointegration with soft tissue contouring (thighplasty) and targeted muscle reinnervation.

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