INDIA - First Long-Distance Heart Surgery by Robot

Arno Froese

A doctor in India has performed a series of five percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures on patients who were 20 miles away from him. The feat was pulled off using a precision vascular robot developed by Corindus. The results of the surgeries, which were successful, have just been published in EClinicalMedicine, a spin-off of medical journal The Lancet.

Surgery is considered the final frontier of the still-young field. Robots are now commonly used in surgical procedures around the world, but always under the vigilant eye of a surgeon in the operating room. Theoretically, some surgical procedures currently performed with robots could be done remotely without significantly changing the procedure. 

But distance introduces challenges, including connectivity and latency issues. A network crash mid-procedure could be catastrophic. 

All of which makes the feat pulled off [in 2018] by Dr. Tejas Patel, Chairman and Chief Interventional Cardiologist of the Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, the more impressive. 

Interesting, the first transatlantic telesurgery was performed in September 2001, when Professor Jacques Marescaux and his team performed a minimally-invasive cholecystectomy on a 68-year-old female patient in Eastern France. That transatlantic feat was dubbed “Operation Lindbergh.”, 5 September 2019

Arno's commentary

What will they do next? The surgeon can be away in another town, state, or even country and successfully perform a surgery on a patient. This indeed is another milestone of man’s technological success, with many to follow. While Telemedicine, as it is called, is just the beginning, it still depends on the functioning of the Internet. There too, man will find an answer and continue to glorify the achievements of self. That however, does not change anything when we look at it from a Scriptural basis: “…It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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