China airs milestone 5G livestream of surgery

China airs milestone 5G livestream of surgery

A major Renji Hospital in Shanghai aired the country’s first live 5G broadcast of a surgery on an intestinal cancer patient, China daily reports

The patient was a 65-year-old woman suffering from a tumor in her intestinal tract 5 centimeters away from the anus. The surgery was done using the Da Vinci Robotics System that is an advanced robotic system designed to facilitate complex surgery using a minimally invasive approach that is controlled by a surgeon from a console.

The live broadcast from Renji Hospital allowed dozens of doctors in its branch in Ningbo city, and their peers in the Shanghai hospital to simultaneously observe each step of Doctor Zhong Ming during the 90-minute surgery with high resolution. It was just like being the surgeon in the operating room.

The hospital’s Ningbo branch, which was established as an extension of Shanghai’s high-quality medical resources, was put into operation in March. But Doctor Zhong, who works in both hospitals, soon found that the doctors in Ningbo did not have enough opportunities to observe complex cases and master corresponding techniques. The hospital came up with the idea to air a live broadcast of a surgery with the Da Vinci system.

“It enabled doctors in Ningbo city to clearly observe the complete operation with a broader view and more precise zooming into a specific area during the surgery,” Min said. “The doctors can see clearly how Zhong operated on the blood vessels and nerves.”

Zhong said that in the past they had attempted to use other technologies, including 3D glasses and virtual reality, during such broadcasts, but none offered the required visual sharpness and smoothness.

“Such live broadcasts are beneficial for young doctors throughout the region to learn the most advanced technology and further standardize surgical treatment, extending benefits to more patients,” said Zhang Jidong, vice-president of Renji Hospital.