Surgeons at University Medical Center, Utrecht Use Polycom Video Solutions to Broadcast First Live 3-D Surgery

  • Residents learning how to perform the surgery receive identical 3-D view from a regular videoconference connection
  • Any student can witness in the same orientation as the surgeon via a 3-D TV

Utrecht, Netherlands and San Jose, Calif - Nov 12, 2015: 

Pioneering surgeons at the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) are the first to use Polycom’s video solutions to broadcast a live surgical procedure in 3-dimensional HD video.  The procedure performed, called a stapedotomy, is a middle-ear operation that involves replacing one of the middle-ear ossicles in a patient with Otosclerosis. The surgery was performed by Professor Wilko Grolman, Head at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University Medical Center in Utrecht and was broadcasted to thousands of viewers.

Surgeons at the University Medical Center Utrecht perform a stapedotomy, which was broadcast to thousands of residents and viewers in 3-D using Polycom video solutions.

When performing surgery using an operating microscope, the surgeon has a stereoscopic 3-D view of the surgical field.  The image seen through the microscope will be shared through videoconferencing with the operating team and residents, who normally would only experience the surgery in traditional 2-D. Using Polycom’s video solutions, including the Polycom® RealPresence® Group 700 solution, coupled with a special kit for 3-D video, the images were seen in 3-D, delivering the same view and experience as if you are the surgeon yourself. 

“This is a revolution for medical education,” said Professor Grolman. “The ability to see in 3-D what the surgeon sees through the microscope will greatly improve medical education. This revolutionary approach in teaching surgery not only gives students a better understanding of what the surgery is, it also helps them when residents perform the procedure on their own.  And as I will have the exact vision of the microscope on my screen, I will be able to better guide them and deliver instructions.  I am thrilled with this important advancement Polycom delivers.  For us it is a game changer.”

Choosing Polycom to facilitate knowledge sharing and education

UMC Utrecht is no stranger to the benefits of video solutions, using it to broadcast and record surgeries, for the purpose of medical education.  Professor Grolman, who co-founded the Live International Otolaryngology Network (LION), is dedicated to delivering the highest quality medical and surgical continuing education programs. Annually, LION organizes multiple live ear-surgery events that are publicly available and aimed at Otolaryngology residents.

3-D view a game changer

The stapedotomy was performed by Professor Grolman on two patients suffering from otosclerosis, or a bone growth in the ear that causes hearing loss Polycom video solutions were used to broadcast the surgery to thousands of residents and medical students.  For the first time, residents learning how to perform the surgery received the identical stereoscopic 3D view from a regular videoconference connection.  In combination with a 3D TV, any person is able to have the same orientation as the surgeon. 

“Advancements in technology have led to huge gains in the medical field and what Professor Grolman has conducted further illustrates that the future of healthcare is here today,” said Ron Emerson, Global Director of Healthcare, Polycom. “Our healthcare customers continue to inspire us, using our solutions to improve patient care, care coordination, the quality of life for patients and present new procedures future healthcare professionals will grow accustomed to using. The University Medical Center of Utrecht has advanced the surgical field even further and we predict other facilities around the world will soon follow.”

About Polycom

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