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Published on : Aug 25, 2015

Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Purdue University have planned to develop an ‘augmented reality telementoring’ system that provides efficient support to the surgeons and doctors on the battlefield from specialists who are situated thousands of miles away. Telementoring is a technique where an operation is performed by the surgeon where he remotely receives guidance from an expert through telecommunication. The surgeon has to divert his attention from the operation table and shift his focus to the nearby apparatus, which is called as telestrator. 

The latest System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality STAR comes with many new technologies including sensors for better communication between the surgeon and the mentor. STAR also features transparent displays that allow the mentor and the surgeon to have a clear vision at the time of the surgery. According to Juan Wachs, a junior professor at Purdue, the STAR will overcome limitations in current telementoring. The system uses a transparent display to integrate the mentor illustrations and annotations into the section of view and eliminates the need to shift the focus away from the operation. Researchers are evaluating the new telementoring system to find out its effective uses. The new telementoring system is expected to be beneficial for the battlefield and rural areas where there is scarcity of surgeons or specialists. 

Brian Mullis, a junior orthopedic surgery professor at the IU School of Medicine, said that STAR can be a useful technology in Afghanistan and Iraq where surgical services can be offered in the battlefield areas. Researchers are further testing the STAR system while performing few procedures in the operation theaters. Cricothyrotomy, Laparotomy, and Fasciotomy are some of the procedures on which, STAR system of telementoring is tested. According to the researchers, such an advanced telementoring system might be soon used with sophisticated and technically advanced surgical robots, actually allowing the specialists to perform the surgical procedures remotely.