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How High Speed Communications Networks Are Making Remote Surgery Realistic

November 27, 2015 | Telepresence Options

Surgical_robot_DaVinci.jpg

Story and images by Motherboard

Imagine a future where surgeons no longer have to enter war zones to treat soldiers injured on the battlefield. Instead, they would just rig themselves up to a surgical robot like the Da Vinci and operate on wounded fighters remotely. This is the promise of telesurgery--when a doctor performs surgery on a patient without being in the same physical location.

But to make it work, surgeons have to be sure that issues of latency are under control, so there's not too much of a time lag between an action and a response.

Telesurgery.jpg

"If you're a human surgeon and latency is happening while you're doing surgery, how much of that can you tolerate before your surgery breaks down and it's not safe [to operate] any more?" said Roger Smith, a chief technology officer at the Florida Hospital Nicholson Center.

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