An idea in and of itself has no value. It's when you implement an idea, by means of an innovation, then you create value for society.—Thomas J. Fogarty, MD“Celebrating a Lifetime of Innovation” (reception program at Stanford for Thomas J. Fogarty, Lemelson–MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation, 20001 )
Without a doubt, we are living in the era of revolutionary technologic and scientific progress in our civilization, where at any given moment there are numerous innovations and breakthroughs in science and technology that are continuously remodeling and transforming all aspects of our life.
However, innovations have long played a central role in changing medical practice and expanding its frontiers for the sake of improving patients' care. Most medical innovations with real value are need-driven, as they usually start with an unmet need, then drive appropriate technology focused on that specific need or an existing problem, rather than a solution in search of a problem. But some innovations are technology-driven and benefit from previous development in a nonmedical field, such as electromechanical military technology. These already-launched technologies with intriguing functions have additional appeal with potential uses and new indications in medicine.
About half a century ago, the practice of medicine and other healthcare-related disciplines started to witness radical changes within the whole radiological and surgical environment, with the evolution of interventional radiology as a unique specialty that changed the pattern of practice and profoundly affected the clinical management of patients. It started with the idea of using a simple tool to solve a critical clinical problem under imaging guidance. Radiologists have transformed from being imaging interpreters to practicing clinicians who can perform the most innovative, minimally invasive, nonsurgical, high-tech, cost-effective, image-guided diagnosis and treatment. But shortly after that time, the pace of changes accelerated and expanded to encompass surgical arenas and some other medical fields such as gastroenterology and pulmonology, paving the way for implementing cutting-edge technologic innovations and changing the standard of practice. Such innovative changes have either replaced tedious major invasive procedures with less invasive and more precise procedures or created solutions to previously unsolved or incurable medical problems. The various surgical arenas and different interventional medicine disciplines became interrelated due to increased sharing of a wide variety of invasive procedures performed over several platforms with different degrees of success and applications. That led to overlapping boundaries among these specialties and sometimes merging, especially with adopting the multi·disciplinary, collaborative, bench-to-bedside approach as a standard of care in patient management in order to achieve the optimal outcome.
Moreover, the technology-integrated innovations have affected not only the clinical practice but the educational process for training healthcare professionals using 3D printing, simulation machines, virtual and augmented reality technologies, and remote learning.
Today, the response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is imposing heavy demands on healthcare systems, straining international supply chains, and changing the way we work. These demands highlight the need more than ever for full-force multi·disciplinary and cross-sector collaboration and impactful innovative work at local and global levels in order to save lives and protect the well-being of healthcare professionals, their patients, and the general public. Having the innovations reachable and available for deployment helps institutions overcome the scarcity of resources—for example, by creating 3D-printed personal protective equipment. Moreover, shifting the work to a virtual mode and using digital communication and digital-based consultations and meetings fulfill the concept of preventive social distancing. Yet the need will harness and spur innovations in the relevant healthcare areas based on the priorities.
Why the new journal, Innovations in Surgery and Interventional Medicine? Although innovations in healthcare are constantly introduced due to multispecialty collaboration between healthcare providers and industry, relevant articles are still published in different journals based on a specialty. Therefore, the timing is perfect for those of us from a broad range of surgical and interventional medicine fields to contribute works and share research and expertise through a multidisciplinary journal.
Our new journal, Innovations in Surgery and Interventional Medicine (ISIM), is a peer-reviewed publication that is committed to supporting, promoting, and disseminating the innovations in surgical and interventional fields that can positively affect clinical practice and patient care. The journal's international editorial board is composed of experts from various relevant fields. We invite you to contribute and share your experiences, with great hope that the journal will be successful.
Source of Support: None. Conflict of Interest: None.