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News & Trends - Medical Technology

Orthopaedic surgeon performs borderless surgery for live audience

Health Industry Hub | June 11, 2021 |
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MedTech News: A Ramsay Health Care hospital has featured on the global stage as a complex hip surgery was live-streamed to medical professionals across the world, with orthopaedic surgeon Dr Jit Balakumar firmly in the spotlight.

Organised by ISHA – The Hip Preservation Society, and using technology provided by Proximie, the peri-acetabular osteotomy was broadcast to more than 300 surgeons in 69 countries, with moderators in France and Chile. 

The Avenue Hospital theatre was equipped with five cameras to capture every element of Dr Balakumar’s live surgery so that those watching on the other side of the world could learn the technique. 

Dr Balakumar said he was honoured and humbled to take part. “We’re delivering really high standards of care here in Australia and this technology allows us to teach some of these skills to the rest of the world,” Dr Balakumar said. 

“It shows that it’s not just borderless surgery, it’s borderless teaching.  This shows that Ramsay is not just providing high quality health care but facilitating teaching opportunities and indeed facilitating it. 

“It was definitely a hard thing to do, because technically it’s a difficult operation and we have to try to be talking and answering questions from across the world at the same time. It went really well because of the excellent team at The Avenue,” he said. 

Peri-acetabular osteotomy is a modern treatment for hip dysplasia which Dr Balakumar has been performing for approximately 10 years.  He said four surgeons are now using a similar technique at The Avenue Private Hospital, which is very high-volume hospital for Hip Preservation Surgery.  

Dr Balakumar said Proximie’s technology is playing a wonderful role in transforming the way health professionals are educated. 

“You just think back to the day at Harvard at the ether dome.  They would be doing the surgery in a big auditorium with everyone looking down at the patient from the stalls. This is the modern version of that hall,” he said. 

“During the live stream, the moderators could not only see me, but they could put an augmented reality hand into the patient and draw on areas to highlight to the audience what we were doing. It was high fidelity teaching, and I can see how it’s really going to evolve,” Dr Balakumar said.  


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