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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Surgeons Raise the Bar With Telemedicine

Features
TATRC Pavilion
University of Cincinnati Center for Surgical Innovation
The TATRC pavilion at the American Telemedicine Association show in Denver.
Telesurgery
University of Cincinnati Center for Surgical Innovation
At the ATA show, TATRC surgeons performed a telesurgery demonstration; the telerobot was based in Sunnyvale, CA.
Telerobotic Surgery
Center for Minimal Access Surgery
Telerobotic surgery is performed at the Center for Minimal Access Surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, ON.
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Hank Russell By Hank Russell
Managing Editor

A surgeon has just performed an operation on a patient, only he didn't scrub in, he didn't change his clothes and he didn't even go into the operating room. How was he able to perform this operation? The answer: telemedicine.

The move towards telemedicine is picking up speed as the factors that come into play image quality, latency, transmission speeds are constantly improving. Telemedicine has played a role in helping patients who live in remote areas and do not have immediate access to a doctor or a hospital. As the doctor performs a procedure without ever having to go from his office to the operating room, he is able to spend more time with other patients.

At the American Telemedicine Association's (ATA) event in Denver, people poked their heads into the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) pavilion to take a look. There was a television monitor showing a telesurgery demonstration being performed in real time. This was one of many demonstrations of revolutionary telemedicine procedures designed to bring together critical medical talents and patients-in-need.

TATRC, a subordinate element of the United States Army Research and Materiel Command, hosted the telesurgery demonstration based on research coordinated by a team of telesurgical experts from TATRC, Intuitive Surgical (Sunnyvale, CA), Walter Reed Army Medical Center (Washington, DC), Johns Hopkins University (Laurel, MD) and the University of Cincinnati. This was done under the aegis of TATRC's message at the show "Raising The Bar: Improving Technology in the Continuum of Care."

For the demonstration, TATRC used the hai500 series network video encoding/decoding systems from HaiVision Systems Inc. (Montreal) "What our products do is encode the video, compress it, put it over an IP network and then, at the other end, decode the video and present it to the other end," explains Peter Maag, vice president of HaiVision Systems.

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