Artificial intelligence brings surgeons into the future

What happens when you combine top Finnish expertise in surgery, technology and understanding people to reduce surgical risks? Oravizio is a unique AI tool with data from 45,000 surgical operations that helps surgeons work more humanely and safely.

Case Solita and Coxa: Artificial intelligence brings surgeons into the future

Could the risks of joint replacement surgery be predicted better?

Coxa Hospital for Joint Replacement is the largest hospital in the Nordic countries and the only hospital to specialise in joint replacement surgery in Finland. Coxa is a centre of excellence where the most demanding surgical operations have been focused.

The number of joint replacement surgeries increases as the population ages. A successful operation improves the patient’s quality of life and functional ability, in addition to reducing costs for society. Surgery is always a major operation that involves risks. If a surgical operation fails, revision surgeries are both difficult and expensive. Doctors have to make decisions swiftly on their own.

For more than ten years, Coxa has accumulated a large volume of data from surgeries: the data includes over 45,000 operations and 36 million individual variables.

The Solita project was based on the vision that this mass of data could contain factors that indicated risks for joint replacement surgeries down to an individual patient’s level, which would improve the success rate of operations if discovered.

I believe that healthcare will change radically in future by utilising artificial intelligence. Oravizio is excellent proof of the abilities of artificial intelligence and a magnificent start.

Antti Eskelinen Research Director and Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, Coxa

Combining orthopaedic experience and artificial intelligence

Orthopaedists must be able to quickly identify high-risk patients and evaluate surgical risks in relation to the benefits while considering the patient’s individual background and condition. Wrong decisions about treatments incur heavy costs, needlessly worry patients and make their lives more complicated.

Even experienced orthopaedic specialists find it difficult to accurately evaluate a patient’s surgical risks, especially if they have other illnesses. Risk factors are rather widely known – obesity is a major one, for example, but what if the patient uses a certain medication, suffers from a systemic illness or has certain blood values?

Taking the above into account, a strategy was chosen: combine the clinical knowledge of Coxa and the data science expertise of Solita with the aim of creating artificial intelligence models based on the surgical data that could predict surgical risks.

Put all surgical data in one location

Over time, surgical data had been collected into several systems and databases, so the natural solution was to build a dedicated data lake to store all of the data and allow better processing. The preparation of the data required special care to ensure uniformity, quality and future utility.

Then we could proceed to the most interesting stage: Coxa’s research director and Solita data scientists began to research studies to find variables linked to risks in joint replacement surgery. They also experimented with different AI algorithms to develop risk prediction models. The options were neural network solutions and various machine learning models.

Oravizio is a great help with this problem, as it gives out risk information as figures and diagrams, which make the risks easier to specify for the patient. If risk-reducing measures are needed before an operation, such as weight loss or improved diabetes care, then Oravizio also makes it easier to explain these things to the patient.

Antti Eskelinen Research Director and Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, Coxa

Aiming for a fast, practical and reliable tool

The machine learning models were built to keep the connections between determining variables visible. The number of input variables was also kept moderate to make the tool quick and practical to use, and to allow the impact of individual risk factors to be illustrated.

Taught and tested on separate data sets, dedicated prediction models were developed for each risk. National and international material was also found to independently validate the models. Furthermore, a peer review of the method and results was requested from a leading specialist, Professor Jonas Ranstam, who is an award-winning statistician at Lund University in Sweden, and he was impressed with the outcome.

Oravizio shows the risks of every patient at a glance

Now in full working order, the prediction models were ready for clinical trials, so we developed a clear and handy browser-based user interface for orthopaedists. The tool was named Oravizio.

In Oravizio, the orthopaedic specialist needs to input just seven to fifteen patient variables, such as date of birth, height, weight, gender, joint to be operated, medication and laboratory results. At Coxa, Oravizio receives the patient information automatically from the data lake.

The Oravizio tool then combines this risk-related patient information and evaluates the patient’s personal surgical risks based on a massive data set. This helps identify patients who should not be operated on or who should improve their health before an operation.

  • Risk of infection within one year from surgery: The probability that the operated joint becomes infected and requires a revision surgery as a result.
  • Risk of revision within two years from surgery: The probability that a new operation is needed for any reason.
  • Risk of death within two years from surgery: The probability that the patient will die within two years from surgery for any reason. Joint replacement surgeries are often performed on the elderly, thus the topic is highly important, especially with high identified risks.

Please accept marketing cookies to watch this video.

Read more about how we use
cookies in our privacy policy.

Oravizio, the Revolutionary Risk Assessment Service helps you to spot risky patients and reduce unwanted outcomes.

Oravizio makes way for new surgeon-patient decision-making

Surgical risks are difficult for patients to understand and hard facts are not easy to provide.

Oravizio displays the potential risks to patients in a way that is clear and accessible. It also offers easy visualisation of different factors and their impact on risks, which can motivate lifestyle changes, for example.

The first CE-marked medical software for patient-specific joint replacement surgery risk evaluation

Because Oravizio is a tool that affects patient care, the software is governed by medical device regulations. This is why we decided to implement the methods of the ISO 13485 standard from early on in development. Clinical trials were an important part of development, and Coxa’s orthopaedic specialists used Oravizio during their surgery hours for about a year.

The results of the clinical trials were positive, so we applied for a medical device CE marking for the tool. The final product was the commercial Oravizio, the world’s first CE-marked medical software for patient-specific joint replacement surgery risk evaluation.

The Oravizio risk evaluation tool is unique in the world and brings surgeons into the future. Oravizio has attracted attention both in Finland and abroad. Pilots are currently underway in a number of hospitals in Finland and the Netherlands.

Benefits of Oravizio

  • The world’s first CE-marked medical software for patient-specific joint replacement surgery risk evaluation.

  • Supports the daily diagnostic work of orthopaedic specialists: quick and easy to use.

  • Uses artificial intelligence and machine learning: data from over 45,000 operations, over 36 million variables.

  • Evaluates the risk of infection, revision and death for an operation: high risk can be mitigated in advance, for instance with lifestyle changes.

  • Saves money and human suffering: improves the success rate of operations and reduces complications.

Note: Oravizio is no longer available for use. Solita and Coxa decided jointly to discontinue Oravizio, because it would have needed further development (to reach MDR class IIa) which was no longer seen as worth the investment.

Want to know more? Get in touch!

Research report TOP 500 companies and Generative AI

How has generative AI been received in TOP 500 companies in Finland?

This report summarises the results of a survey conducted by Solita and IRO Research on how Finland’s top 500 companies assess the transformative power of generative AI and the opportunities and risks it brings.

TOP 500 companies and Generative AI
TOP 500 companies and Generative AI in Finland