HumanInsight Application of Improved Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Telesurgery with 5G Technology in Urology
Eur Urol. 2022 Jul 8:S0302-2838(22)02469-1. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2022.06.018. Online ahead of print.
The demand for telesurgery is rising rapidly, but robust evidence regarding the feasibility of its application in urology is still rare. From March to October 2021, a surgeon-controlled surgical robot in a tertiary hospital in Qingdao was used to remotely conduct robot-assisted laparoscopic radical nephrectomy (RN) in 29 patients located in eight primary hospitals. The median round-trip delay was 26 ms (interquartile range [IQR] 5) and the median distance between the primary hospital and the surgeon was 187 km (IQR 57). Both the master unit and the slave unit were guaranteed by network and mechanical engineers, and surgical assistants were well prepared on the patient side to prevent complications. The primary evaluation metric was the success rate, defined as the percentage of patients who underwent successful remote RN without conversion to other surgical procedures and no major intraoperative or postoperative complications. The results demonstrate that the combination of 5G technology and surgical robots is a novel potential telemedicine-based therapy choice for renal tumors. PATIENT SUMMARY: Our study shows that telesurgery using 5G technology is a safe and feasible treatment option for patients with kidney tumors. The total delay between the remote location and the operating rooms where surgery was being performed was just 200 ms. This approach could reduce health care costs and improve the quality of medical services accessed by patients.
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