Information technology, surgery, neurology  

High definition videoconferencing for remote neurosurgery training

22 Sept 2006

Windermere, UK. High definition videoconferencing systems have been used in a ground-breaking way to deliver a trainee surgeons’ workshop based on a live operation at the autumn conference of the The Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SNBS),  It demonstrated new techniques for endoscopic transnasal transphenoidal surgery for the treatment of a brain tumour. The systems were also used to deliver presentations to the conference by neurological experts from remote locations.

Hosted by the Preston unit of the SBNS and held in Windermere in North West England during the week of the 4th September 2006, the conference is a high-profile and well attended conference that is designed to enable specialists in this field to jointly develop best practice for the diagnosis and treatment of a range of neurological conditions.

Supplied by Questmark, the systems selected were the LifeSize Room, connected over the internet between the conference centre, Questmark’s offices and the operating theatre at the hospital in North West England. These systems were selected to provide the best possible video and audio communications between the conference centre and the operating theatre to enable attendees at the conference to view the operation, see the images clearly, and to interact with the team in the operating theatre throughout the operative procedure. The results were impressive and most attendees agreed that this was a tremendous benefit to their attendance at and participation in the overall conference.

“The quality of the images and the ability to interact naturally with the surgeon and his team undertaking the procedure ensured this was an extremely valuable session for all conference attendees,” said Mr Aprajay Golash, Consultant Neurosurgeon responsible for organising the telemedicine content within the conference agenda. “The support provided by Questmark in the planning and delivery of this conference was excellent,” continued Mr Golash.

Questmark has supported the development of uses of videoconferencing in neurological care through its work with the Teleneurology Service run by Professor Victor Patterson from the Royal Group of Hospitals in Northern Ireland. The extent of this work is described in the recently published book by Victor, Teleneurology, published by Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd and sponsored by Questmark. The conference gave the Society the opportunity to share this pioneering work by Victor and to use high definition videocommunications for the live link from the operating theatre.

“We are only pleased to be able to engage with the UK’s pioneering healthcare professionals in the development and delivery of programmes like this,” commented Stephen Bell, Healthcare Manager from Questmark. “Events like this help the NHS and the videoconferencing industry to develop and adopt best practice around the use of this technology to deliver direct benefits to patients and the professionals involved in their care programmes”.

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