Indian doctor performs robotic heart surgery on patients 20 miles away

  06 September 2019    Read: 1560
Indian doctor performs robotic heart surgery on patients 20 miles away

An Indian doctor from Gujarat has achieved the rare feat of performing five robotic heart surgeries despite being more than 20 miles away from his patients, the leading British medical journal The Lancet has reported. 

Using a precision vascular robot developed by medical firm Corindus Vascular Robotics (CVR), Dr. Tejas Patel, pulled off the amazing feat last year, according to The Lancet which has published the results of the surgeries in EClinicalMedicine, one of its spin-off publications.

"I am honoured to have been a part of this medical milestone," said Dr. Patel, the chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute located in India’s Ahmedabad city. “The use of telerobotics for remote treatment has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by providing access to specialised care that may not otherwise be possible.”

Using Corindus' CorPath GRX robot and a hardwired internet connection, Dr. Patel manipulated the robot with a set of joysticks and a video monitor while performing the operations.

While Corindus Vascular Robotics claims it has performed several remote test cases in the US, Dr. Patel's procedure is viewed as a landmark achievement in medicine.

“Remote procedures have the potential to transform how we deliver care when treating the most time-sensitive illnesses such as heart attack and stroke," Mark Toland, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Corindus Vascular Robotics said.

"The success of this study paves the way for large-scale, long-distance telerobotic platforms across the globe… it is clear we are on track to expand patients' access to care while reducing their time to treatment," he added.

According to The Lancet, surgery is considered the final frontier in the still-embryonic field. Robots are now commonly used in surgical procedures around the world, but always under the vigilant eye of a surgeon in the operating room.

Robotic surgical procedures can be done remotely, but distance poses challenges. For instance, if network connectivity collapses in the middle of such procedure, the results could be fatal.


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