As a surgeon, I see firsthand that many of the advances in techniques for surgery are directly associated with new medical devices. Part of the challenge of my job is balancing an appropriate skepticism of new technology with an intellectual curiosity and drive to find innovation that can improve my patients’ lives.
Recently, the FDA reached out to the Academy of Otolaryngology to seek our opinion on a new medical device for our field. I think one of the most important reasons to be an active member of the Academy is it gives physicians a voice in the direction of new innovation. It’s only through this constant dialogue between innovators and clinicians that we can keep improving patient outcomes.
Rahul Shah MD and I wrote a quick article discussing the Academy’s consideration of and opinion on the recent FDA approval of the Tusker TULA device in this month’s bulletin. You can read our article below.
One of the trends we will continue to see in Otolaryngology and all of healthcare is a transition from operating-room based procedures to in-office procedures. These tend to be safer for patients, who avoid the risks of general anesthesia, but also more cost-effective for our healthcare system because they avoid the large facility fees often associated with hospital-based procedures. The other benefit in-office treatments offer is quicker access to care, since they don’t require physicians to coordinate with a hospital, where multiple physicians often share operating-room time. This aligns well with the other trend we will see in healthcare, as well as all fields, of patients wanting faster means of solving their problems. Ultimately, the combination of being safer, more cost-effective, and quicker will lead to this in-office field burgeoning.