A hybrid operating room is an extremely complex surgical environment where the theatre is equipped with advanced medical devices and can accommodate large teams comprising of surgeons, intervention lists, nurses, anesthesiologists, and technicians. They work together seamlessly. The hybrid operating rooms require immaculate designing to function. Typically a design team will comprise of architects, engineers, equipment planners, and consultants specializing in acoustics, vibration and audiovisual design. In addition experts and integration specialists work with an internal hospital team made up of hospital staff to design the hybrid operating rooms. In addition to medical devices such as operating tables, other devices used in hybrid operating rooms include monitors and microphones for telemedicine procedures, cameras, touch screens, etc. These enable remote consultations, real-time conferencing, teaching, and documenting.
The biggest motivator for hospitals to opt for hybrid operating rooms is the flexibility that they offer which enable cardiovascular and surgical capabilities and can even function as basic or general operating rooms. Hospitals have a lot of patient data; however access to data is not always easy. Digital integration and use of electronic systems enables surgeons in hybrid operating rooms to access high definition images, equipped with audio-visual components and cameras that allow streaming and still images.
Drivers for the market
The market for hybrid operating rooms is largely driven by healthcare reforms, readmissions, and reimbursement rates. As hospitals struggle to balance costs and savings potential, many are turning to advanced technological offerings.
The advantages of hybrid ORs include combined procedures, increased accuracy and lesser number of procedures, faster patient recovery, reduced need for corrective surgeries, and enabling seemingly difficult procedures. Hospitals face challenges with staff allocation, and hybrid operating rooms allow them to use the staff better with reduced instances of patient transfer, set-up time, space, etc. At the same time complex and advanced procedures are facilitated.
While the United States and Europe have a fair number of hospitals that are already equipped with hybrid operating rooms, the largest demand is likely to come from the Asia Pacific market. The primary reasons for this demand are government focus on improving healthcare facilities, development of large hospitals, demand for sophisticated medical services among others. In US alone, the need to increase operating room efficiency is expected to generate demand for video and high-tech hardware device to be worth $4 billion. Similarly, the OR integration market is expected to grow at an average of 15% annually.
Hybrid operating rooms are expensive and require a lot of planning. While expected growth is exponential, the reality may be different. Each hybrid operating room costs about $3-4 million on an average. It also needs almost double the space of a traditional operating room and more technologies go into making an OR functional. However, hospitals looking at long-term benefits are opting for these capital intensive facilities.