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Transcontinental Anesthesia Session Demonstrated Using Video Conferencing

Posted Sep 13 2010 9:01am

The article states one needs an “anesthesia cockpit” , which is a workstation that handles and audio-visual link.  A local anesthesiologist can over ride the system at any time.  Last year there was a report of a robotic automated procedure too called McSleepy and you can read more at the link below.  image

Obviously we are not looking to replace a real human there to monitor the patient as that means the surgeon or assisting surgeon would need to jump into action but the fact that it can be done is interesting.  In addition this practice could be developed to possibly accommodate patients at home with pre surgery blood tests.  BD 

Videoconferences may be known for putting people to sleep, but never like this. Dr. Thomas Hemmerling and his team of McGill’s Department of Anesthesia achieved a world first on August 30, 2010, when they treated patients undergoing thyroid gland surgery in Italy remotely from Montreal. The approach is part of new technological advancements, known as ‘Teleanesthesia’, and it involves a team of engineers, researchers and anesthesiologists who will ultimately apply the drugs intravenously which are then controlled remotely through an automated system.

This achievement is a product of an on-going scientific collaboration between Dr. Hemmerling’s team and the Italian team of Dr. Zaouter of the Department of Anesthesia of Pisa University (Chairman Prof. Giunta).

“The practice has obvious applications in countries with a significant number of people living in remote areas, like Canada, where specialists may not be available on site,” Hemmerling said. “It could also be used for teaching purposes, allowing the resident to perform tasks without the physical presence of a tutor, thus increasing his or her confidence level.”

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