Smith & Nephew Endoscopy to become digital operating room partner for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Andover 14 May 2002Smith & Nephew Inc., Endoscopy Division, a subsidiary of Smith & Nephew plc, and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC), a pre-eminent academic medical centre, have signed a partnership under which Smith & Nephew Endoscopy will utilise cutting-edge and emerging technologies to develop 12 custom-designed, integrated endoscopic digital operating rooms (Digital OR) for WFUBMC.

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As WFUBMC's partner, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy will provide innovative medical technologies ranging from integrated equipment management solutions to centralised and voice control systems, and from medical imaging database applications to digital video telecommunication solutions. Development of the dozen Digital ORs is expected to begin this month.

"We are pleased to have this strategic relationship with a like-minded, future-focused organisation such as Smith & Nephew Endoscopy that understands the tremendous potential which digital data, imaging and voice technologies have to offer for improved patient care, telemedicine, and physician education and training", stated Dr. Wayne Meredith, Chief of Surgery, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

For example, the Digital OR telestration capability will allow electronic annotation of clinically significant anatomy in surgical images to be viewed simultaneously by surgeons and other medical professionals in different locations from within a hospital, between hospitals, and across the globe.

"In today's highly competitive business climate, there is no greater reward than a medical institution which has the caliber of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, recognising that our strategic capabilities and innovative medical solutions will meet their business needs for years to come", commented Ron Sparks, president, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy. "I am proud to say that this partnership is a significant step in our quest of becoming the premier provider of the operating room of the future."

The WFUBMC Digital ORs will also be designated as a regional multi-speciality "centre of excellence" training site for the development of new technologies and solutions to meet the future needs of both patients and physicians.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an integrated health care system which operates 1291 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds, outpatient services, and community health and information centres. The Medical Center has 20 subsidiary or affiliate hospitals and conducts 87 satellite clinics throughout the region. It provides a continuum of care which includes primary care centres, outpatient rehabilitation, dialysis centres, home health care, and long-term nursing centres.

Smith & Nephew Endoscopy is specialised in the development and commercialisation of endoscopic techniques. Smith & Nephew has extensive marketing and distribution capabilities, with established sales in more than 90 countries. In January 2002, Computer Motion closed a strategic alliance agreement with the company for Smith & Nephew Endoscopy to sell and service customers with a full line of Computer Motion's Hermes voice-controlled products.

Also as part of the agreement, Smith & Nephew Endoscopy products are offered for sale as "Hermes Ready" on a worldwide basis in the coming year as a commercial support to their fully integrated digitally controlled intelligent operating suite across multiple surgical disciplines. Additional Smith & Nephew news is available in the VMW December 2001 article Smith & Nephew and URS Ortho integrate knee software into CASPAR robot for orthopaedic surgery.


Leslie Versweyveld

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