Laparoscopic Telementoring on a Shoestring Budget: Leveraging Free and Ubiquitous Technologies to Improve Surgical Patient Safety

Existing methods for remote guidance or mentoring of laparoscopic procedures is resource and capital intensive. With the intention of establishing a practical and cost-effective method of providing remote intraoperative consultation, we describe the design and operation of a highly versatile telecommunications system for the purpose of mentoring clinicians while improving patient safety. We wanted to leverage increasingly ubiquitous resource: the physician personal digital assistants (PDA).
We identified the critical maneuver during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, as the identification and division of the cystic duct. Consequently, we
captured a short video segment of this decisive stage of the
surgery, during multiple subsequent Cholecystectomies. Video was captured from laparoscopic camera input and sent via DVI2USB Solo frame grabber to a video recording application on laptop. Seven-second video clips of the presumed cystic duct were recorded, converted, and emailed to physician consultants on their PDAs: Blackberry(R), Apple iPhone, and PlayStation(R) Portable devices.
We were able to successfully transmit three video clips to to all three
devices and present them to expert physicians, each of whom believed consulting advice could be offered based on the image quality.
Although formal validity has yet to be established, this represents
proof-of-concept. We succeeded in establishing a reproducible method of accurately transmitting sufficient video for telementoring and pursuit of increased patient safety utilizing primarily existing infrastructure.

Session: Video Channel

Program Number: V057

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