Metavers surgery: For the first time in history, breast cancer surgery was performed externally. The operation was performed by two doctors: the first was by the patient’s side, while the second was in another country.
Surgeon Pedro Gouveia was at the Champalimaud Foundation’s Breast Cancer Center in Lisbon, while Dr. Rogelio Andrés-Luna supervised and guided the operation from the University of Zaragoza, Spain. Thanks to the metaverse, the operation took place as if the two surgeons were in the same room.
Like in a sci-fi movie, Dr. Gouveia mixed reality glasses called “Hololens 2”. Thus, he could not only see the patient before the eyes of him, but he could also read the information displayed on the inner lens of the glasses.
Dr. Gouveia is a pioneer in meta-verse surgery. For some time, he has been using Hololen’s glasses to perform breast cancer surgery. In collaboration with the Champalimaud Foundation, he has developed a non-invasive digital method that allows surgeons to locate the tumor as if the surrounding breast tissue was invisible.
Dr. Andrés-Luna, on the other hand, was 900 km from the surgical site, more specifically on the stage of the congress of the Spanish Association of Breast Surgeons. Together with Dr. Gouveia, he presented this new method of remote surgical monitoring.
The only thing, Dr. Andrés-Luna needed was a laptop. This was associated with Dr. Gouveia’s Hololens glasses via a private 5G network with German software. Despite the distance between the two doctors, they say that everything went well, as if the supervising surgeon was with the operating surgeon.
What about latency issues?
What would happen in the event of an information delay? How did the surgeons synchronize their movements with the several seconds that passed between what one did and what the other saw? Simply by using 5G instead of 4G or Wi-Fi. According to Dr. Gouveia, “5G dramatically lowers the delay and reduces it to milliseconds. That’s why it was so crucial to our experiment”.
“We have made the world’s first live experience of breast cancer surgery using what we call remote monitoring,” he said.
Dr. Gouveia believes that remote monitoring may become a key element in future operating rooms. 5G makes remote monitoring an absolute reality.
For his part, Dr. Andrés-Luna: “I gave instructions to my ‘apprentice’. I was able to point out areas where he had to be very careful and show him pictures or videos. We were in constant contact thanks to the audiovisual”.
To perform this first metaverse operation, the two doctors selected well-known telephone operators: Altice Portugal, on the side of the Champalimaud Foundation, and Telefónica on the Spanish side. The success of the operation was proof of concept, and Dr. Gouveia believes it will change the way the operation is carried out. In the future, this may have a very valuable and far-reaching effect.
Surgery in Metaverset: The training
“At the moment, as soon as young doctors finish their education, they will make their debut in surgery without any supervision,” stressed Dr. Gouveia. This is especially true in remote locations or countries. Sometimes they may be the only person qualified to perform surgery. “Their surgeries can be filmed and then assessed, but during the surgery they are alone and need help.”
Dr. Gouveia says the meta-verse can be used by surgical students to view surgeries remotely as if they were in the operating room.
“The advances that immersive technologies will bring, through remote guidance / monitoring, herald a new era: to use what is called ‘metaverse’ in postgraduate medical education. The term metaverse refers to access to the Internet via augmented, virtual, mixed and / or extended reality via a headset, and is already considered the next generation mobile computer platform ”.
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