First long distance heart surgery performed via precision vascular robot

Telemedicine has the potential to decentralize healthcare by distributing doctors into local communities virtually. It could also ease out shortages of nurses and doctors to cut healthcare costs.

In France, patients have started visiting telehealth cabins for fast and convenient healthcare. During the Ebola crisis, the University of Virginia delivered care in some parts of Africa via telemedicine.

A feat has been performed, which is an example of telemedicine, an emerging field that leverages advances in networking, robotics, communications technologies and mixed reality to let medical experts connect to remote locations for everything from consultations to surgical procedures.

A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. This entire procedure was performed by using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus.

The results of these successful surgeries have been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet.

Theoretically, some surgical procedures performed with robots can be done remotely without significantly changing the procedure. But, it’s true that distance poses challenges, including connectivity and latency issues.

But the feat was pulled off by Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

Dr. Patel used Corindus' CorPath GRX robot and a hardwired internet connection, manipulating the robot with a set of joysticks and a video monitor.

Mark Toland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corindus Vascular Robotics said that remote procedures have the potential to transform how care is delivered while treating the most time-sensitive illnesses such as heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Patel said that the application of telerobotics for remote treatment has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by making specialized care available to patients that may not be otherwise possible.