Heart surgery by teleportation…

In addition to its indisputable educational interest, the use of the metaverse and especially augmented reality in medicine could make it possible to “transport” surgical teams thousands of kilometers away. Insight into a futuristic medical practice with Patrick Nataf and Boris Hansel.


Boris Hansel- Hi every one. Do you know teleportation and the metaverse (or metaverse)? It sounds like science fiction, but we will see that there are applications for today and tomorrow. We talk about it with Patrick Nataf, who is a professor of cardiac surgery. Together we coordinate the Connected Health Responsibility Center at APHP, CRSC, which together with the University of Paris Cité has an educational mission. We have also proposed for 2023 a university diploma called “metaverse in health”. This is the news with e-health education, you can also register, it starts in March.

But back to today’s topic, including the metaverse and teleportation. For many people, the metaverse is a fantasy, even marketing… How about?

Patrick Nataf – The metaverse is the transposition into a virtual world. It is probably marketing and it was very well done by Mark Zuckerberg. But here we have to talk about something else: we work in our research unit on immersive technologies, and we have to talk more about teleportation, that is, the transposition into a real universe, and not not into a virtual universe.

Operative capsule (source: Per Patrick Nataf)

Boris Hansel- Does that mean we have to “teleport”? Are you surgeons supposed to teleport? Already teleporting a particle seems complicated, so teleporting a human… Explain to us.

Patrick Nataf – In fact, we’re going even further because we’re talking about teleporting an entire surgical team to an operating theater that will be 10,000 km from us.

We need to teleport an entire surgical team to an operating theater that will be 10,000 km from us.

Boris Hansel- How do you teleport a surgical team so far without flying?

Patrick Nataf – It’s simple, we have a capsule that we go into and are immersed in an operating theater that will be filmed at 360°. That is, he will see the staff working in this operating room and the patient who will be at the center of this staff, we will see the surgical techniques develop during the intervention and we will interact with this whole universe, all who performs an intervention.

Boris Hansel- So we will be able to follow live what happens at 10,000 km and all that in real life? It’s not just pictures. What is the practical use for you in cardiac surgery and in surgery in general?

Patrick Nataf – The operating theater has relatively limited access – not everyone can enter. There, we will give as many people as possible the opportunity to participate in an intervention. On the other hand, we will see how the surgical team behaves in this operating room. You know, there’s lots of little codes to know, don’t touch anything that’s sterile, we’re going to be careful with everything. Above all, many are not used to participating in an operation or seeing how an operation is carried out, we will be able to experience it live with the actors in this effort.

Boris Hansel- So it’s for teaching, to learn what’s going on and to try to take the right moves, the right techniques, the right precautions…

Patrick Nataf – Here is. Good practice in general when you return when you are a nursing staff and want to know what the OR is.

But it goes further: when you are 10,000 km away and you have a certain technique to learn, instead of taking the plane to get around, watch the surgeon operate, you will be directly in front of the operation and we will interact with the operator. with the anesthetists, with the nurses who manage the operating theatre, and at the same time follow what happens on the monitors when the patient is operated on.

Boris Hansel- We can learn what is going on, the technique, etc. Now we want to go even further: Can we imagine one day that you, Pr. Nataf, expert, can operate at 10,000 km while in this teleportation pod?

Patrick Nataf – We will not operate directly. We will use tools, in particular mixed reality, augmented reality helmets, to be able to indicate in real time, placing our hands and our instruments exactly in the field of operation of the person performing this intervention, which he knows less well. Instead of operating live, we will guide the surgeon step by step for each gesture, it will be direct, it will be reality. It is a reality that we call “augmented” or “mixed reality”, that is, we will intervene in reality with the digitization of our hands, our instruments.

We are going to intervene in reality with the digitization of our hands, our instruments.

Boris Hansel- Obviously, the operator will see your hands in the helmet and he will put his hands on yours to make the right movements on the patient’s heart.

Augmented reality operation (source: Per Patrick Nataf)

Patrick Nataf – Exactly. He will know exactly where to go, what to do as a movement, as a technique, he can change operation strategy as he is told what to do.

Boris Hansel- Thank you very much, Patrick Nataf. You will have plenty of other information, because we will of course communicate on this topic.

If you want to learn the metaverse, teleportation, e-health in general, don’t hesitate to join our interdisciplinary university e-health courses.

Thank you and see you soon on Medscape.

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