Solutions: Webex and RealWear open the OR to remote participants
Webex Expert on Demand and RealWear assisted reality work together to enable real-time visual communication that’s intuitive and easy to use, securely opening the operating room to visual collaboration by surgical specialists in the U.S. The local surgeon and Medical Director in Honduras, Dr. Merlin Antúnez, wears a high-resolution, voice-activated RealWear headset, streaming real-time video from the operating room to one or more remote specialists who’ve joined via a Webex meeting. The proctoring surgeons can see exactly what the operating surgeon sees and speak to each other as the surgery happens. This allows the U.S. and Honduran surgeons to collaborate as if they were all in the operating room together, discussing treatment options and sharing insights.
For convenience and cleanliness, the onsite surgeon controls the Expert on Demand technology with verbal commands. For example, the surgeon can tell the headset to zoom in or out so the remote experts can have the best view of the procedure.
The onsite surgeon can also use the headset to augment their real-time view with critical information. If the patient’s heart rate and blood pressure need to be monitored constantly during the operation, those values can be superimposed right in the operating surgeon’s field of view.
The communication possibilities with Webex and RealWear also offer educational opportunities to students, residents, and fellows in the U.S. and Honduras. Students can virtually observe surgical procedures in real time from their home or classrooms or view recorded surgical procedures, gaining valuable knowledge they can take forward into their own careers. Students in the U.S., including the University of Minnesota and University of Texas at Austin are just beginning to work with One World Surgery to expand their education programs.
One World Surgery is looking at ways to extend its use of Webex and RealWear. Involving patients in real-time discussions with remote specialists and local healthcare staff is another area of opportunity.