MATTU, the UK’s first International Centre of Telemedicine based at Surrey University and the Royal Surrey County Hospital, has telementoring facilities that links to hospitals and research centres all over the world.
A advanced operating theatre allows key-hole specialist surgeons to coach people from as far afield as China, the East Coast of America and Africa in the latest techniques which are helping to minimise hospitalisation stays and complications. Cameras and microphones relay live broadcasts which can then be viewed online. Viewers can interact with the surgeons in real time.
The Media Control System is a tele/video conferencing system which connects the OR1 to the MATTU unit via fibre optics. Up to 80 surgeons can watch proceedings and interact with the surgeon via a two way audiovisual link. The system can further link to other hospitals and universities via high bandwidth telephone lines and satellite.
Professor Bailey, President of the Association of Endoscopic Surgeons of Great Britain, is convinced that teletraining has an important role to play in future global medical training. “The advantages are too great to ignore,” he says.
Plasma screens showing CT scans downloaded from central hospital database. X-Rays, scans can be accessed instantly, blown up, printed out and e-mailed to other hospitals.