Chinese Team Completes Remote Surgery Over 8,000 km

Chinese Team Completes Remote Surgery Over 8,000 km
Chinese Team Completes Remote Surgery Over 8,000 km

An experienced Chinese medical team successfully completed a groundbreaking remote robotic surgical operation at a frontier practical conference.

Led by Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) academician Zhang Xu, also the urology department director at the Third Medical Center of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital, the Chinese medical team carried out the operation simultaneously in Rome, capital of Italy and Beijing, capital of China.

The two places are about 8,100 kilometers apart, with the two-way communication distance exceeding 20,000 kilometers.

While Zhang was skillfully operating a self-developed remote surgical robot in Rome, in an operating room of the Third Medical Center of PLA General Hospital, the surgical robot received remote information instructions from Zhang and executed them precisely on a prostate cancer patient to remove the lesion.

"The biggest problem with a remote surgery is communication -- whether there is any delay. During today's surgery, there was almost no delay, and it was almost the same as an on-site surgery," said Zhang.

"To me, it was really a historical experience, a historical moment. The fact that he was able to do it in Rome makes us very, very happy," said Vito Pansadoro, chairman of Challenges in Laparoscopy, Robotics and AI, the frontier field conference.

Zhang said that remote surgery is a systematic innovation brought about by the cross-integration of new technologies and new concepts, and is of great significance for remote treatment in future battlefield environments and disaster-stricken areas.

In the next step, China will apply the research direction to military field medical services to better protect officers and soldiers stationed in remote areas, according to Zhang.