In 2001 the medical world got its first real taste of remote robotic surgery when operating surgeons in New York performed a gallbladder removal procedure on a patient in France. A three armed robot was at their disposal, and the surgery was a success with the patient making a full recovery. The article cited above began with the line: “The era of “laptop” surgery has begun.

More instances of remote surgery followed in the years to come. In 2010 British surgeons performed a procedure on a man called a catheter ablation for supraventricular tachycardia, using a robotic catheter. The precision of this remote procedure was nine years better than the one in 2001.

In academic circles the need for remote surgery can help tackle a great deal of logistical issues in healthcare world. Domestically remote and robotic surgery can be used as a tool for education and medical solutions in rural areas. One paper published by the US National Library of Medicine at the NIH, which examined the value of telerobotic remote surgical services, wrote that “the service uses an IPVPN (15 Mbps of bandwidth) commercially available network to connect the robotic console.” This paper was published in March of 2015, when at that time “21 telerobotic laparoscopic surgeries have taken place between North Bay and Hamilton, including 13 fundoplications, 3 sigmoid resections, 2 right hemicolectomies, 1 anterior resection, and 2 inguinal hernia repairs." Years later with different municipalities and companies like Google building fiber optic networks capable of delivering 1 gigabit of data per second, the capacity of these systems to be more accurate in their reactions has increased 66 times.

Using fiber optic broadband, surgeons are redefining the speed of certain operations:

The medical community embracing cutting edge tech is nothing new, the tech however, is constantly new. Microsoft announced their newest product last week named HoloLens. This product has a visor which displays a holographic interface in real space. From promotional renderings, HoloLens looks like the real deal. Even Forbes thinks so. HoloLens is built with the same technology developed by Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect System. With a series of cameras enabling a 120 degree view, the holographs remain stationary while the user moves. Actions by your arm (or however the user programs gestures) translate to actions displayed by holograph.

The connection here is telerobotic and remote surgery just got a lot more accommodating. The one thing those in the medical world will need is an army of qualified developers. The future of tech in medicine will start not with the physicians, surgeons, and general practitioners, it will start with developers exploring the limitations of a product like HoloLens. The hardware will certainly reveal its true potential in that regard. Coupled with blazing fast internet connections, the level of speculative ideation is similarly limitless in its development.

(Credit: Microsoft)

Imagine an astronaut is injured in some regard or has fallen ill and needs medical attention. HoloLens or a device like it will help engineers and medical professionals on Earth ensure his or her well being while in space. The speculation need not stop there. HoloLens can enable medical drones on the ground, with operators standing by thousands of miles away. The benefit here is medical professionals can address real problems and see if HoloLens or a technology like it can be applied and integrated with other tools to perform accurate and safe surgery from anywhere.

Software development will be key in how successful and adaptive this new hardware can be. Over here at Codal we along with other colleagues and development firms, have anticipated technology needing code specific attention in the healthcare world. HoloLens is another addition to the growing field of healthcare innovation management. The development starts now.

Codal, Inc is a global development and design firm headquartered in Chicago. We build effective and functional software for cutting edge product designs as well as established hardware products. Our adaptive solutions have created effective results for all our clients. Codal has a history of building lasting strategic partnerships with product design firms. We actively invite firms to see what potential a partnership has.