High technology

Telepresence used in surgery

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Jonar discusses remote-assisted neurosurgery and how telepresence is also used in defence and formula one motor racing. To listen to an excerpt from the radio broadcast, please click on the green play button below.


Here is a transcript of the audio file.

Host: One of the major hospitals in Australia is linking up specialist surgeons to take part in diagnosis and or operative procedures.

Jonar Nader: Yes there are two types of what’s happening there. In the area of neurosurgery you can have what is called ‘remotely assisted neurosurgery’ where it isn’t actually happening via remote control but it is assisted by remote control so that the surgeons from around the world can get the data, the heart and scan rates, and advise the surgeon on the spot, reason being, that neurosurgery comes into the area of nanosurgery and the margin for error is too minute to fiddle with.

There is actually surgery through telepresence, whether it be surgery on humans or on something like a bomb, or in open cut mines etc, where the remote surgery can take place. The idea is that if you can move a steering wheel and have the wheels of the car move, that is one on one, why can’t you do that through the satellites, so that you touch a steering wheel here and have something else move elsewhere, like you could in an F 111 or in an FA18? Why have a pilot in an airplane. If it goes down you could say is worth billions of dollars, and so is the pilot because it has cost you 10 years of training him or her.

Host: most of the activity in combat is done by pilots of the F111. The FA18 is in fact done by these remote controllers on the ground.

Jonar Nader: Yes, that is true but you still have to have a pilot in the airplane and you are right just like the formula one car racing, a lot of what happens (even though you still have a driver behind the wheel) is controlled via Japan or wherever the central headquarters might be.

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