India on Wednesday became the first country to perform a telerobotic coronary surgery on human. The “first-in-human” telerobotic coronary intervention was performed by Padma Shree and noted cardiologist Dr Tejal Patel on a middle-aged woman who had volunteered for the first experimental coronary stenting.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was present at the console in the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar from where Dr Patel with remote control was conducting the surgery on the patient 32 km away at Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad. It took just 15 minutes to complete the telerobotic coronary intervention. Rupani called it a “path-breaking day for the humanity”.
Dr Patel said the robotic surgery was common in many countries but so far nowhere it had been performed through telerobots away from the operation theatre.
“This will bring about revolution in the medical history as it will enable the cardiologists to perform surgery on the needy patients on emergency basis even from a distance,” Dr Patel said.
“It has the potential to dramatically improve patient access for both elective and emergent percutaneous coronary interventions and stroke in rural and underserved population,” he said.
He agreed that the telerobotic surgery was cost-prohibitive, “but in the next few years it will become affordable even for the lower middleclass families.”
Dr Patel said in case of any exigency or failure of the internet connections, the surgeons present at the spot could take over manually within 30 seconds. He said he performed the first telerobotic surgery using Jio Band 100 MBPS speed, but it was possible to perform it even at 20 MBPS speed. “Poor connectivity therefore will not come in the way in case of patients lying in remote areas.”
With remote control, Padma Shree awardee Dr Tejal Patel in Gandhinagar successfully conducted the surgery on a patient 32 km away at Ahmedabad. It took just 15 minutes to complete the telerobotic coronary intervention.