“The benefits of remote presence are now fully realised with the new KARL STORZ OR1TM solution, VISITOR1®. This new technology enables expert opinion leaders and consulting surgeons to beam into operating suites throughout the world via a simple click-to-connect experience. Telemedicine and remote presence will be changed forever.”
Mike Perks - Managing Director, KARL STORZ Endoscopy (UK) Ltd.
Telemedicine, or the use of telecommunication and information technologies to provide clinical healthcare from a distance, is playing an increasingly important role in medicine. As the number of surgeons per population continues to decline, the rate and volume of surgical education has to increase. Video conferencing and surgical telementoring can be used to meet this demand, allowing discussion of patients, some with very rare conditions, across a broad range of experts, vast distances apart. This sharing of medical expertise will improve outcomes and, in the long run, greatly lower medical costs.
KARL STORZ has introduced a new product to the UK market that is set to transform the way clinicians communicate and share vital medical information before and during surgery. VISITOR1® is an internet-based telementoring and telepresence device that makes it easy for surgeons to connect remotely to the point of care. By creating a two-way, interactive, audiovisual experience, it enables full involvement with clinical processes and access to patient data and medical imaging. It makes it possible for one clinician, or an entire team of clinicians, to be in two places at once, participating in the consultation or even surgery via the two components of the VISITOR1® solution:
1. A notebook or iPad running KARL STORZ’s ControlStation software (that can also be connected to a projector if required);
2. The medical grade mobile unit or cart.
Whether used for consultation before surgery, remote participation and guidance during surgery, or for education and training post-surgery, VISITOR1® allows a clinical team made up of experts thousands of miles apart to work together to ensure the best possible outcome.
- Using the Surgeon ControlStation, a surgeon from anywhere in the world can robotically control the VISITOR1® mobile device within the surgical environment.
- Pan and tilt capabilities give the remote surgeon complete situational awareness of all activities within the theatre.
- An integrated laser pointer allows the remote surgeon to actively participate in any surgical procedure.
- Using industry-standard tools, the Internet and VISITOR1® technology, secure encrypted real-time audio and video communication offers simple click-to-connect technology.
- Unlike traditional telemedicine solutions, VISITOR1® uses SureConnect network connectivity, which requires minimal IT support.
- VISITOR1® facilitates anytime, anywhere care.
- VISITOR1® can connect worldwide by beaming into any theatre or room for education and consultation.
- VISITOR1® integrates easily into any existing operating suite.
- Auxiliary video inputs make any integrated video feed viewable by the remote surgeon, enabling completing intraoperative immersion.
- Picture/video capture and sharing provides complete surgeon-to-surgeon synchronisation.
- The mobile unit or cart means that VISITOR1® can be quickly and easily moved to any theatre in the hospital. The integrated battery enables remote presence without a direct connection to a power outlet.
- The built-in Wi-Fi connection reduces cable clutter within theatres and increases the sphere of action.
- VISITOR1® has a small footprint, similar to that of a drip stand, so can easily be positioned at the side of the operating table with the surgical team.
- The unit can be shared between theatres or moved to a ward for a remote bedside consultation.
- Establishing connections to VISITOR1® is straightforward with Applications for Windows, Mac and the iPad, so the system can be used in all conference rooms and lecture theatres.
VISITOR1® Unites Strasbourg and the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust
In the UK, VISITOR1® has already been trialled successfully at Ipswich Hospital when, during his visit to the European Institute of Telesurgery in Strasbourg, the French President, M. Hollande, was shown images of keyhole gallbladder surgery beamed live from the operating theatre in Ipswich.