A surgeon in India has managed to successfully carry out the very first remote heart surgery on a patient was lying on an operating table about 20 miles away. The procedure was carried out with the help of the CorPath GRX robot that has been developed by a company known as Corindus.
The CorPath GRX robot was used during the procedure for inserting a small instrument known as a stent in order to open the blood vessels in the heart as per the paper that has been published in clinical medicine. The operation is called percutaneous coronary intervention and is generally carried out in patients who are suffering from atherosclerosis – building up of plaque in the blood vessels that restricts blood flow.
The procedure was carried out by Dr. Tejas Patel of the Apex Heart Institute located in Ahmedabad, Gujrat, India. He said, ‘I am honored to have been a part of this medical milestone. The application of telerobotics for remote treatment has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by providing access to specialized care that may not otherwise be possible.’ Earlier procedures using the CorPath GRX robot features a Robotic Control Workstation that is generally placed a few feet from the operating table.
The workstation has different joysticks that the operating surgeon relies on for controlling the robot along with screens that show what different components of the robot are seeing and doing. However, for this particular operation; the team installed an identical remote workstation that was connected to the robot using a high-speed internet connection. The team also placed cameras in the operating room that provided additional footage of the procedure to Dr. Patel and a pair of surgeons who were inside the operating room performing supervision of the procedure.
NASA’s Ames Research Center was one of the first investors in telemedicine technology and even developed one of the first virtual clinics back in 1999. The goal was to help with the medical needs of astronauts who were stationed on the International Space Station. Telemedicine has become more popular during recent decades and is being publicized as an inexpensive alternative.
What do you think of CorPath GRX robot and the wonders of telemedicine?