2019: Between scalpel and algorithm - evidence-based surgery

Evidence-based surgery? Is that even possible? There is still the prejudice that everything in surgery is different, especially in comparison with drugs, that controlled studies are not necessary or not feasible. One reason for this may be that the framework for clinical research is different, also because regulatory authorities do not initially place high demands on high-quality research and therefore incentives to produce reliable clinical study results are lacking. However, as with medication, before surgery patients are just as interested in which surgical procedure is the most suitable for them: A or B or a conservative approach? Here, controlled studies and meta-analyses as traditional instruments of evidence-based medicine can generate the necessary answers.

Growing importance of robotics and artificial intelligence in the operating theatre

How has clinical-surgical research developed over the last 30 years and which research networks have been established? What is the infrastructure for the promotion of clinical studies in surgery? What are the methodological challenges facing those responsible for studies in the surgical disciplines? What are the facts and figures on the translation of evidence-based surgery into practice? Eleven experts answered these questions at the IQWiG Autumn Symposium on 29 and 30 November in Cologne and examined the topic from different angles. The focus was also on everyday surgical practice as well as on the legal framework under which clinical research takes place, especially in view of the increasing importance of support systems and artificial intelligence in the operating theatre. Do these technical innovations still offer room for evidence-based medicine?

As always, the IQWiG Autumn Symposium provided plenty of room for open questions, interdisciplinary discussions and networking.