One World Surgery

Webex Expert on Demand connects Honduran surgeons.

One World Surgery joins its Honduras medical team and U.S. surgeons with Webex Expert on Demand and RealWear assisted reality to bring additional expertise to surgeries and education to medical students, residents, and fellows.

Supporting surgeries with innovative assisted reality technology.

Webex and RealWear bring AR-powered collaboration and mentoring for local medical professionals.

Challenge

Supplemental surgical expertise is not always locally available and travel for medical mission visits was hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Solution

Webex Expert on Demand and RealWear help provide real-time second opinions, case discussions, mentoring, and learning opportunities.

Results

Patients receive quality care from local medical professionals, with remote surgeons providing another level of expertise.

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One World Surgery: Transforming lives through access to medical care

One World Surgery is a nonprofit organization that aims to confront a global health crisis by partnering with communities, healthcare providers, and leaders in the medical field to deliver surgical services free of charge to low- and middle-income countries. The organization’s vision is a world with safe, timely, and accessible orthopedic surgical care regardless of financial circumstances.

One World Surgery’s Honduras clinic organizes surgical and primary care missions for volunteers who visit for a week, augmenting the permanent Honduran medical professionals at the center. Volunteers include surgeons with medical expertise and the general public with a willingness to work as needed. The group is inspired by a unified spirit of service to help patients in need.

The surgery center in Honduras changes lives through its work. Motorcycles are a main form of transportation in the area and accidents often go without medical attention, leaving patients with permanent disabilities. Surgery can help eliminate years of pain and help restore patient health. The clinic has countless stories of how patients’ lives are transformed after receiving the treatment they needed.                                         

Challenges: Meeting wide-ranging medical situations with a small staff

Medical complexity
One World Surgery works to provide excellent surgical support in Honduras, but many cases are complex and benefit from additional surgical expertise from specialists outside the country.

Medical mission volunteers
Medical missions to the clinic, typically totaling up to 1,000 volunteers per year, were suspended during the pandemic. As a result, the clinic experienced reduced surgical and volunteer staffing support.


International communication
Communications between the U.S. headquarters and teammates in Honduras require regular contact and collaboration.

Medically-appropriate technology
Technology and equipment in the surgical setting must be sanitized, secure, and robust. Manual contact with technology is not possible during surgery, so hands-free control available with Webex and RealWear is a must.

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.

Results: Collaboration with remote experts helps enhance surgical care

One World Surgery is using Webex video conferencing technology, combined with RealWear assisted reality and Webex Expert on Demand, to connect healthcare staff, students, and patients to surgical experts.

Medically-complex conditions and surgeries can benefit from Webex Meetings integrated with RealWear assisted reality. Letting the remote surgical expert see through the eyes of the doctor on the ground allows for valuable collaboration and provides access to expert information for unique and complex surgical procedures.

During the travel restrictions of the pandemic, surgeons who would typically travel onsite to the surgery center in Honduras could instead connect via Webex with RealWear to help continue the important work of the surgery center.

Staff teams in Honduras and the U.S. communicate regularly and even more effectively using Webex Meetings for administrative activities and strategic planning. Ongoing visual communication in Webex Meetings was even more vital during the period of restricted travel.

Webex with RealWear also provides hands-free control during surgeries. The technology is safe, robust, and easily sanitized for medical and surgical applications.

Additionally, the visual observation possible with the Webex and RealWear technologies provides real opportunities to bring uncommon medical cases and surgeries to medical school and postgraduate medical education.

One World Surgery, a nonprofit surgical center.

The organization offers world-class surgical and primary care to underserved communities in Honduras, and manages medical missions for nearly 1,000 volunteers visiting the clinic annually.

Over 70,000 consults since 2008
One World Surgery provides free clinical consultations to make a difference for people with long-untreated injuries and other medical conditions.
Over 9,000 surgeries since 2008
The clinic includes a staff of 50 Honduran members, many of whom were raised in the NPH home for abandoned and at-risk children where the vision for the surgery center began.
90% of Hondurans remain without health insurance
One World Surgery serves those who are unable to pay for medical care, many of whom live and work in rural communities. The public healthcare system is underfunded and often without the resources to provide needed care.

Products

Webex Expert on Demand
Webex Meetings
RealWear

Another level of expertise.

“RealWear technology with Webex gives a remote surgeon almost a better view than I have across the table—in HD and with zoom options.”

Peter Daly, MD; Orthopedic Surgeon, Chief Medical Officer, and Co-Founder; One World Surgery

“We can connect directly from the operating room to the conference room and beyond internationally. It can give students an invaluable, real-time view of challenging or interesting cases.”

Merlin Antúnez, MD; Medical Director and Orthopedic Surgeon, One World Surgery

“Our dream is that 10 years from now, there'll be many doctors throughout Honduras that know what we know and have the expertise we have. Webex can help that process.”

Peter Daly, MD; Orthopedic Surgeon, Chief Medical Officer, and Co-Founder; One World Surgery

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