by Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | March 18, 2009
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire) - Titan Medical Inc. and Bell Canada said they have successfully completed telesurgery tests using Titan Medical's Phase B Amadeus, a next generation robotic surgical system. During a one-week testing period, the tests were done over an unprecedented long distance spanning roundtrip from Toronto to Vancouver, Canada, about 4,350 miles.
Telesurgery is the performance of robotic surgery over a distance using a communication link. To accomplish it, it's critical to transmit low latency dual high-definition signals for three dimensional vision and instrument commands with minimal time. Total end-to-end lag time--also called latency-- was approximately 300 milliseconds and will be expected to shorten when the Phase C clinical testing platform is completed, Titan and Bell Canada say.
Dr. Reiza Rayman, president of Titan Medical, says that telesurgery will confer significant benefits on doctors and patients alike. "An increase in surgeons' ability to operate will bring their expertise to a greater number of patients. Expert collaborations and procedural training will be simpler, quicker, and more effective. Patient transportation costs will decrease. Under-serviced communities can be supported by established hospitals. And surgeons will be removed from harm of a battlefield in military applications."
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The extreme distances in these tests were implemented to generate worst-case scenario data. "In day to-day applications, we expect the distances to be much shorter. These will likely be between neighboring cities, a tertiary hospital catchment area or proximate offshore locations," Dr. Rayman said.
Stephane Boisvert, president of Bell Canada's Enterprise Group, said the tests are an important next step in the evolution of telesurgery that Bell has supported for several years. "We have proven in the past that the quality of the Bell network can support telesurgery over shorter distances. But thanks to these tests we are now seeing the very real potential of telesurgery over much greater distances. That means significant benefits for more patients, for caregivers and for the economics of our health care system as a whole, all of which are critically important to the quality of life Canadians enjoy."
Read a report on robotic surgery in the December 2008 issue of DOTmed Business News, now online at https://www.dotmed.com/magazine/archive/