Pioneering Heart Surgery Using Remote Control Robot Arm

(images via: Daily Mail)

Soon, receiving the best health care in the world might not require a round-trip plane ticket and tons of traveling expense. A doctor in Leicester, Great Britain recently became the first in the world to operate remotely on a human patient using a Remote Catheter Manipulation System. Dr. Andre Ng was only in the next room in the same building, but he believes that with a reliable link between doctor and robotic arm, remote surgeries can be carried out between any two locations in the world.

The surgery performed was to fix a patient’s irregular heartbeat with the insertion of a catheter. Typically, a doctor performing this type of surgery has to wear heavy protective clothing because of the constant x-rays that are used to show what’s happening in the patient’s body. With the doctor safely behind a wall and comfortably sitting down, he can take his time with the surgery and not worry about being impeded by protective gear or getting tired during the operation.

(image via: Daily Mail)

This was the first time this particular type of procedure has been carried out on a human using a fully remote controlled robot, and the results were even better than expected. Dr. Ng and others believe that in time, doctors around the world could use this type of technology to deliver quality health care to patients on the other side of the planet. Eventually, we could all have access to the world’s most talented health care specialists – provided we can afford it.

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See more in Medical Marvels or under Science. June, 2010.