Features  |   October 2018
The Future of Anesthesiology: Artificial Intelligence Is Just Another ‘What’ to Serve Our ‘Why’
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Obstetric Anesthesia / Pain Medicine / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Quality Improvement / Features
Features   |   October 2018
The Future of Anesthesiology: Artificial Intelligence Is Just Another ‘What’ to Serve Our ‘Why’
ASA Monitor 10 2018, Vol.82, 10-13.
ASA Monitor 10 2018, Vol.82, 10-13.
In a recent issue of the ASA Monitor, Neil et al.1 eloquently describe the current state of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the field of anesthesiology. They conclude that AI and robotics are not coming to replace us, but to rescue us. In this issue, we will consider the possible impact of these technologies on the future of the specialty and chart a course that will let the specialty continue to thrive and pursue ASA’s vision to improve “health through innovation in quality and safety.”
Efforts to automate maintenance of anesthesia began in 1950 with Bickford’s2  apparatus and have only grown more complex since then. They have all utilized the closed loop feedback system to manage one or more of the domains necessary to successfully maintain general anesthesia, which requires a bespoke system of rules and logic built in a “top down” manner. Though they have been shown to be more effective than a human in attaining tight control of specified target variables,3 -5  they are labor intensive and difficult to create and edit. To date, commercially available semiautonomous sedation systems, such as Sedasys, have been market failures.6  This is perhaps due to the belief that current iterations simply do not improve workflow or patient care.7 
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