Computer Motion's Socrates System used in tele-urology procedure between Virginia and Berlin

Santa Barbara 29 April 2002Surgeons in Norfolk, Virginia and Berlin, Germany have completed a successful clinical case telecollaboration using Computer Motion's Socrates System. Michael Fabrizio, MD, with Devine-Tidewater Urology, and Ingolf Türk, MD, Universitätsklinikum Charité, used the system to collaboratively treat a patient undergoing urology surgery.

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The surgery to treat prostate cancer was a complete success, and the 66 year-old male is recovering in Berlin without complications. "We were able to effectively communicate using the Socrates System", stated Dr. Fabrizio. "I was able to view the procedure as if I were in the operating room. I outlined the steps of the surgery in real time, and controlled the AESOP robot from my office in Virginia while Dr. Türk performed the procedure in Berlin."

According to Dr. Fabrizio, the opportunities for using telesurgery as a tool to train surgeons in the latest minimally invasive surgical techniques are evolving rapidly. "Telemedicine is a technology that will profoundly improve the patient's access to the delivery of world-class medical care even in the most remote regions of our world."

The Telemedicine Industry Report 2000 forecasts that the telemedicine industry will grow 40 percent annually over the next 10 years and that at least 15 percent of all health care services will be provided via telemedicine by 2010.

Bob Duggan, Chairman and CEO of Computer Motion, stated: "We realise that the adoption of advanced patient-friendly surgical techniques requires that surgeons have access to the latest advances in technology, and to the best practices of their peers. We offer a system of products that helps surgeons to integrate new techniques and new technology and remove the barriers of time and distance from that equation. We expect to play a significant role in the development of exciting telemedicine applications in the future."

Socrates allows a surgeon at a remote location to connect to an operating room and share video and audio, use a telestrator to annotate anatomy or surgical directions, and to control Hermes networked devices, including the AESOP-HR endoscopic camera positioner. Surgeons can share diagnostic and treatment recommendations, indicate best practices techniques for specific cases, and collaborate effectively.

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is a 569-bed tertiary care facility known regionally and nationally for many of its specialised services including the nation's first e-ICU, the Heart Pavilion, the Sentara Cancer Institute, transplant programmes, microsurgery, and reconstructive surgery. The hospital is southeastern Virginia's only Level I Trauma Center.

Sentara Healthcare is a not-for-profit, diversified health services organisation whose unique integration of people, processes, and technologies has made it the number one provider of innovative health care services in the greater Hampton Roads region and a nationally recognised leader in the health care industry.

Computer Motion Inc. is a developer of surgical robotics systems serving over 900 customers and 3000 surgeons in 32 countries. More news on the Socrates tele-collaborative robotic surgery system is available in the VMW January 2002 article Computer Motion's SOCRATES Robotic Telecollaboration System now also 510k FDA-cleared.


Leslie Versweyveld

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