It's a huge first that could have big implications for medicine.
In an incredible first that can usher in a new era of medicine, an operation on a British cancer patient was live-streamed worldwide using virtual reality technology.
The event allowed anyone to see what it’s like to operate on someone first hand, through the eyes of Shafi Ahmed, a London surgeon who has been a big proponent of virtual reality technology in surgery.
The man being operated on was in his 70s and had colon cancer. He was also excited about having his operation watched around the world, according to a Guardian report.
Viewers were able to watch the surgery on April 14 starting at 1 p.m. It could be viewed on both virtual reality headsets and on smartphones. It was placed on a one-minute delay in case of unforeseen complications, according to the report.
Ahmed said that such technology could help even the global inequalities when it comes to surgical health, allowing surgeons around the world to train via virtual reality on proper surgical techniques.
Ahmed streamed the surgical removal of a tumor in 2014 using Google Glass.
The statement from Medical Realities is below:
WHERE WERE YOU WHEN IT HAPPENED?
Yesterday’s event, the world’s first virtual reality live-stream operation, was a huge success reaching people around the world, from China to Tunisia! We couldn’t be happier with the results and thank you all for being a part of this revolutionary milestone in technological and educational achievement
Join the surgeon for the worlds first 360 degree immerse operating theatre experience.
On April 14th we livestreamed a surgery in virtual reality in a world first. Using Google Cardboard and your own phone you could join Medical Realities during this głobal educational experience.
World class education was available to anyone across the world as we streamed in 360 degree high-definition from within a surgical theatre. Members of the public, students and surgeons alike could view the surgery on their own devices, and through the use of Google Cardboard entirely immerse themselves in the operating environment.
As a taster… have a look at our previous scenario.
A recording of the event will be available shortly.