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The University of Pittsburgh opened a unique high-tech research, training and innovation center yesterday for industry partners focused on advancing surgical techniques.
Called Pittsburgh CREATES, or Collaborative Research Education and Technology Enhancement in Surgery, the center will work directly with companies to address their challenges and advance minimally invasive approaches to surgery across disciplines. Leveraging its ties to both the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, Pittsburgh CREATES will offer industry partners a state-of-the-art facility in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood along with clinical and technical expertise to help meet their product innovation, research and training needs.
“Pittsburgh CREATES offers the opportunity to bring the unique strengths of our region to companies that are laying the groundwork for significant health care improvement in the surgical domain,” said Max Fedor, executive director of Pittsburgh CREATES. “Our goal is to work with our strong network of industry partners to find new and disruptive ways to improve outcomes, while driving down the cost of surgical interventions through technology.”
Starting with surgical robotics, a formerly niche field which has evolved to a $1.53 billion industry, Pittsburgh CREATES will pursue opportunities in computer-assisted image guidance, remote sensing, machine learning and other technologies that will advance surgical practice and improve patient care and outcomes.
“We see this not only as a platform for developing new ideas and intellectual property that benefit Pitt, but also as a means of evolving best practices and training techniques,” added Jonas Johnson, MD, chair of the Pittsburgh CREATES executive board and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. “Innovation in the education and credentialing of surgeons using simulation and other technology-based approaches flattens the learning curve, leading to improved consistency, productivity and outcomes.”
The Pittsburgh CREATES model furthers Pitt’s goal of conducting research of impact by encouraging collaboration between core clinical, research and educational experts while generating a positive economic impact and job opportunities for the Pittsburgh region.