First cross continental surgeries broadcast in real time

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Aug. 29, 2011

For the first time surgeons on the other side of the world are able to access the leading edge surgical teaching of London doctors through real time, interactive broadcasts.

The broadcasts are made possible through the use of RP-Vantage™. This secure Internet cloud-based technology from In Touch Health (Santa Barbara, CA, USA) enables real time training and collaboration via an interactive audio-video and informatics surgical telemonitoring platform. RP-Vantage™ can be used for remote training, preoperative planning, unscheduled procedures and includes video recording and image captures.

“There is an ongoing need for surgeon training and proctoring of new and complex techniques. There are also significant challenges and constraints with proctors and trainers traveling to distant locations to conduct in-person training,” says Charlie Huiner, Vice President, Health Care Enterprises and Business Development, InTouch Health. “Our tele-collaboration solution enables experienced surgeons to mentor learning teams on new techniques, as well as collaborate on complex cases while addressing time and distance barriers, inefficiencies and costs of traditional models of surgeon education and training.”

Dr. Bob Kiaii, cardiac surgeon and his team at London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) were the first in the world to broadcast a surgery, a cardiac procedure observed by surgeons in Bucaramanga Columbia in June 2011. Dr. John Denstedt chair/chief of surgery for St. Joseph’s Health Care, London (St. Joseph’s) and LHSC demonstrated two urological procedures in July 2011 to 30 surgeons at the West China Hospital in Chengdu China and on July 25, surgeons in Brazil participated in another cardiac surgery.

Dr. Denstedt, a professor at The University of Western Ontario Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has been teaching several surgical courses at the West China Hospital over the past year through the Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics (CSTAR). Doctors from all over China have attended Dr. Denstedt’s specialized training sessions and now, there is a technological platform to distribute teaching in a more efficient way.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for CSTAR and its affiliated health care group,” says CSTAR’s director John Parker. “Although surgeries have been broadcast before, there was never an opportunity for the receiving party to manipulate the camera, have instantaneous communication and ask questions.”

In the future it may be possible to broadcast such sessions across an entire country by linking and networking centres. This technology will enable health care providers throughout the globe to enhance their quality of care and education in surgical techniques.

About St. Joseph’s
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

About LHSC
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year. For more information visit www.lhsc.on.ca

About CSTAR
CSTAR is a collaborative research and education program of LHSC, the Lawson Health Research Institute,
The University of Western Ontario and St. Joseph’s.

About InTouch Health
InTouch Health provides complete telemedicine solutions and expertise that enable physicians to perform real-time consults with patients. Through a single portal, physicians can access a host of purpose-built, FDA-cleared telemedicine devices to provide care anywhere across the continuum: homes, clinics, ambulances, procedure rooms, EDs, ICUs and patient wards. The InTouch Health Remote Presence telemedicine network is powered through its SureConnect® cloud-based infrastructure providing unparalleled connection quality and reliability, interoperability, workflow imaging and documentation, and services and support. Wherever access to medical expertise is limited, InTouch Health's Remote Presence telemedicine solutions can effectively extend the physician's reach to manage patient care, thereby removing critical time and distance barriers. The Company has more than 400 hospital locations on six continents enrolled in its Remote Presence network for the delivery of telemedicine services such as stroke, critical care, cardiology, trauma, pediatrics, neonatology, psychiatry, language translation, and clinical education and surgical/procedure mentoring.

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For more information, please contact:

Kelsi Break, Communication Consultant
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
519 646-6100 ext. 64792
Kelsi.Break@sjhc.london.on.ca

Michele Martin, Communications Consultant
London Health Sciences Centre
519 685-8500 ext. 77062
Michele.Martin@lhsc.on.ca

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