Telesurgery: a solution in times of social distancing - Máster de Innovación en Salud Digital de la Complutense de Madrid
Telesurgery: a solution in times of social distancing - Máster de Innovación en Salud Digital de la Complutense de Madrid
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Telesurgery: a solution in times of social distancing

The current situation of COVID-19 is endangering health systems around the world, where hospitals have become an epidemic within the epidemic. This makes proper care difficult, so new challenges will be based on finding innovative ideas.

Telesurgery can be a solution. This technology could prevent health professionals who works in certain conditions from being infected. Lower risk of exposure from these intervention practices less contagion. This would  avoid the shortage of surgeons already existing and which could be further reduced by possible sick leave.

Thus, telesurgery is defined as surgical procedures performed remotely thanks to advances in robotic and computer technology and their applications to surgery. Among the benefits they present are the geographic inaccessibility of immediate and discharge care, it reduces complications and long-distance trips, as well as providing technical precision and safety to surgeons.

The world’s first telesurgery was developed in 2001 (New York), using the ZEUS robotic system, which was performed on a patient in a hospital in Strasbourg (France). In this way, the systems have been improving and incorporating new systems such as the Virtual Interactive Presence (VIP) in 2014 that allows collaboration with a three-dimensional (3D) screen or the “haptic feedback” technology that allows the surgeon to feel the consistency of the tissue and the tension within the sutures avoiding damage, this was introduced in 2015 called Telelap Alf-x.


All this technology has been improving over time to achieve the main objective of greater precision and minimally invasive surgery, which favours a better recovery of patients after surgery, reducing hospital stays.

In addition, tools such as computer-assisted surgery that use a navigation system allow the surgeon to obtain real-time information on surgical actions that use information transmitted through a virtual scene of the site presented on a display device, which improves the visibility of the surgical field and increases application precision in a variety of surgical procedures.

The current situation is that surgical navigation has not yet gained widespread acceptance among surgeons, due to problems related to training, technical difficulty, and the learning curve. Which suggests that significant improvements in technology will be required to improve the adoption rate of surgical navigation.

For healthcare professionals to fully benefit from these artificial intelligence and robotics technologies, four conditions must be met: time and willingness to adopt new technologies; understanding of technology; Well-designed technology that meets the needs of users; and support in the workplace to maximize the potential of technology.

These are challenges that we have set ourselves in the Master ISD, since for the use of these technologies based on AI and robotics, the professional must have an understanding of this technology to improve its implementation in the future, so we will work on the Big Data subject and AI in health.


Are you joining to overcome the new challenges that the future of your profession presents?


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