Imagine a surgeon is perched in front of a telecommunications console in New York City while his patient lies on an operating table 3,870 miles away at a hospital in Strasbourg, France. From the console, the physician remotely guides the movement of a three-armed surgical robot named Zeus to remove the 68-year-old patient’s diseased gallbladder. The operation takes less than an hour, and the patient recovers as expected, returning home two days later.
Sounds like something out of science fiction, doesn’t it? It’s not.
The transatlantic procedure actually happened in 2001. Known as Operation Lindbergh, named after American aviator Charles Lindbergh, the breakthrough event marked the world’s first complete, successful telesurgery procedure. It set a strong foundation for the role this technology could play in disrupting the boundaries of traditional healthcare and ushering the industry into the future.
So what does this medical revolution look like? With all the progress made in health innovation these days – advances in surgical robotics, virtual reality (VR) therapies and Internet of Things (IoT) diagnostic tools, just to name a few – it’s easy to picture the hospital of 2050 as a place where exam rooms look like a scene from The Jetsons, artificial intelligence takes the place of practitioners and every instrument connects to the cloud.
By Vickie An | The Guardian