J&J MedTech Launch Polyphonic Digital Surgical Ecosystem

The release, which is only available for select hospitals, touts various data sources and offers a place for clinicians to disseminate best practices and collaborate.

Katie Hobbins, Managing Editor

June 20, 2024

4 Min Read
Polyphonic Digital Surgical Ecosystem
Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson MedTech

Johnson & Johnson MedTech today announced the select release of Polyphonic, its open and secure digital ecosystem created for a more “connected surgical experience”, according to the company.

Currently only available to select hospitals and focused on laparoscopic surgery, the ecosystem features software applications for surgical video, telepresence, and collaborative planning solutions. The first release targets surgical videos’ significant data usage — as one minute of surgical video equals to more than 25 times the amount of data in a high-resolution CT image.

The process many surgeons use for sharing surgical video around a health system requires multiple programs, which is time consuming, and includes a lot of manual work. Polyphonic, instead, is a connected ecosystem which enables quicker and easier collaboration, much like a social media network, but with added security.

J&J Medtech said that the Polyphonic has the potential to help surgeons better manage, tag, edit, and securely share de-identified video which would improve collaboration throughout the surgical lifecycle. The other features, telepresence and case planning capabilities, will help in installing more collaboration, peer-training, and operating room workflow efficiency, according to the company.

“Video is critical for surgical teams to document cases, understand a case flow, and share with other surgeons for increased proficiency,” a J&J MedTech spokesperson told MD+DI. “The problem with surgical video today is that it takes hours to download, edit, tag, and create a shareable video with other surgeons. Often, surgical fellows who are already overloaded are tasked with this several-hour task. Our video library allows surgical teams to seamlessly capture, edit, and share videos with case context, offering: Cloud-based storage for seamless and secure sharing within Polyphonic, video editing tools for highlight reels and screenshots to highlight learning opportunities, video publishing for the Polyphonic reference library to share experiences with a network of users, and with video publishing, residents can watch how their attending completes a procedure so that they are more prepared for a similar case.”       

Enhancing connectivity to help empower surgeon insight, according to the company, the ecosystem would help individual physicians obtain personalized feedback on operating room performance, minimizing the 45% of surgeons said to “rarely receive insight” into this, in-turn increasing quality of surgical practice.

“Enhanced connectivity can help empower surgeon insights,” they told MD+DI. “For example, robotic platform data captured during a procedure can be analyzed to offer surgeons insights about performance and actions taken during a procedure and compare data to past procedures.”

One such hospital chosen to participate in the beta program, Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoot, The Netherlands, is currently using the ecosystem during surgeries. “Digital will revolutionize the future of surgery,” said Dr. Ivo Broeders, surgeon, AI lab leader at Meander Medical Centre, and a paid consultant for J&J MedTech, in the company’s announcement. “We proudly stand as pioneers in the digital realm and are excited to be testing this promising software solution. Together with Johnson & Johnson MedTech, we are shaping the future of surgical excellence and paving the way for transformative advancements in healthcare.”

Future releases

The company said that future releases will focus more broadly on the digital surgery ecosystem, including a studio for creators and developers, and a store to offer secure access to curated digital solutions. Largely vender-agnostics, the ecosystem will serve as an aggregate for video libraries, regardless of source — future use cases may, however, be more complex and proprietary.

Polyphonic studio, according to J&J MedTech, will eventually offer data management, advanced analytics, edge computing and connectivity, as well as design and developer toolkits so that creators and developers can “create and scale software solutions for surgery”. The studio will also deliver AI capabilities which leverage the company’s collaboration with NVIDIA to support increased access to real-time analytics and global AI algorithm availability.

Bringing together a marketplace full of curated software solutions, the Polyphonic store will enable access to products from J&J MedTech and third-party companies.

“Polyphonic Store is a marketplace that will bring together users, creators, and developers — providing a safe, secure space to access and exchange curated digital solutions,” according to the company spokesperson. “If a third-party developer or researcher has a software application that can integrate with the Polyphonic digital ecosystem, we would work with them to onboard into the Polyphonic Store. As we continue to develop the Polyphonic digital ecosystem, we will work closely with collaborators, partners, and customers around the world to provide flexibility as we extend Polyphonic into general availability.”

J&J MedTech also said it plans to ship the system with its Ottava soft-tissue surgery system — a four-arm surgical robot built into a frame the size of a hospital bed — as its off-device interface. The surgical robot is slated to apply for FDA clinical trial permissions later this year.

Polyphonic’s global commercial launch is expected in 2025.

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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