SuperVisionMD at Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles Jan 26-29

SuperVisionMD was introduced to 18 major medical device companies at the 2013 annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, which was held Jan 26-29 in Los Angeles.  The companies included Ethicon, Intuitive Surgical, HeartWare, Covidien, Cook Medical, Edwards Lifesciences and others.  To illustrate the portability of the SuperVisionMD system, a 2-camera kit was taken around the exhibit hall to the individual booths of the device companies for inspection and review by executives.

Although there are many uses for real-time, high definition video, the principle use-cases in discussion included real-time tele-mentoring, telesurgery and live demonstrations for sales and training purposes.  In a number of instances, the evaluating companies reported that one of their biggest challenges with launching new medical technologies is having adequate number of trained surgeons available for mentoring about their new devices.  The usual training procedure for a new, complex medical device is to invite trainee surgeons to classroom and didactic sessions, which are then followed with 5-10 mentoring sessions conducted on real cases. In the mentoring sessions, the trainer (expert surgeon) attends the operation and offers guidance and advice as needed.  The problem is that the expert surgeon who delivered the original training often cannot allocate enough time for all the required mentoring sessions.  SuperVisionMD is being evaluated by a number of the aforementioned device companies for its ability to allow a surgeon to conduct mentoring remotely, in real-time.

For remote mentoring, the procedure will be for the trainee-surgeon to set up a SuperVisionMD kit in the operating room where he/she performs their first cases.  The multiple SVMD cameras will be adjusted to take in the appropriate contextual views of the OR, the incision area and any monitors that need to be viewed.  Once the operation commences, the expert surgeon will log on and attend remotely through their laptop or desk computer.  Since the SVMD broadcast has very low latency (sub 500ms) for both the video and audio signals, the expert surgeon will participate interactively (bi-directional communication) as if they were in the OR live.  After the trainee-surgeon has completed the requisite 5-10 mentoring sessions, the SVMD kit will be returned to the device company to be used with another trainee surgeon.

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