Expert offers predictions on future of kidney stone treatment

Opinion
Video

"We need improved efficiency. Part of that is being as optimal in our settings and in our techniques that we can," says Smita De, MD, PhD.

In this video, Smita De, MD, PhD, shares what she feels will be the biggest story in kidney stones in the next several years. De is a staff physician at the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio and a clinical assistant professor of urology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University.

Transcription:

What do you think will be the biggest story in kidney stones in the next several years?

I think, kind of like a lot of surgery and medicine in general, automation and artificial intelligence are probably the directions we're looking at, whether it's automation in terms of things like navigations, identifying stone types, what laser settings should you use. There are so many little things that we do during surgery that we all do kind of automatically. But we all do them a little bit differently, so is one better than the other? Do we do it because we trained that way? Do we do it because that's the instrument we have in our hand? But what really are the optimal ways, and I think automation and AI can help us identify those so that we can be more efficient. That's going to be important, right? We talk about all these shortages of physicians and specifically urologists. Kidney stone rates are increasing over time, so sadly, as it is, we're going to need to be able to treat more stones in a shorter period of time, maybe by fewer people. So we need improved efficiency. Part of that is being as optimal in our settings and in our techniques that we can.

This transcription was edited for clarity.

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