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  1. Surgeons are human: their best possible performance is limited by their neurophysiology. What if an inoperable patient’s condition demands surgical treatment that exceeds such human performance limits? Can precision surgical robots help surgeons surpass such fundamental human neurophysiological limits? This article employs the Steering law to proposes a quantitative framework and benchmark tasks to evaluate the feasibility of a handheld surgical tool for meeting the quantified speed and accuracy requirements of a clinical need in non-contact interactions that exceed human limitations. Example use cases of such interactions in common surgical scenarios are presented. Preliminary results from a straight-line tracking task with and without computer assistance demonstrate the proposed framework in the context of falling short of a clinical speed/accuracy need. The framework is then used to articulate specifications for additional technology candidates to successfully exceed the speed and accuracy characteristics of the modality used. 
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  2. Background: Reliable and valid assessments of the visual endpoints of aesthetic surgery procedures are needed. Currently, most assessments are based on the opinion of patients and their plastic surgeons. The objective of this research was to analyze the reliability of crowdworkers assessing de-identified photographs using a validated scale that depicts lower facial aging. Methods: Twenty photographs of the facial nasolabial region of various non-identifiable faces were obtained for which various degrees of facial aging were present. Independent crowds of 100 crowd workers were tasked with assessing the degree of aging using a photograph numeric scale. Independent groups of crowdworkers were surveyed at 4 different times (weekday daytime, weekday nighttime, weekend daytime, weekend nighttime), once a week for 2 weeks. Results: Crowds assessing midface region photographs had an overall correlation of R = 0.979 (weekday daytime R = 0.991; weekday nighttime R = 0.985; weekend daytime R = 0.997; weekend nighttime R = 0.985). Bland−Altman test for test-retest agreement showed a normal distribution of assessments over the various times tested, with the differences in the majority of photographs being within 1 SD of the average difference in ratings. Conclusions: Crowd assessments of facial aging in de-identified photographs displayed very strong concordance with each other, regardless of time of day or week. This shows promise toward obtaining reliable assessments of pre and postoperative results for aesthetic surgery procedures. More work must be done to quantify the reliability of assessments for other pretreatment states or the corresponding results following treatment. 
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