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Kenyan doctors perform first distant surgery

Surgeons from Aga khan University hospital today performed surgery using the video conferencing surgery (VCS) technology. This is the first time tele-surgery is conducted in Kenya on a patient. The procedure is being conducted with guidance from specialists sitting in India.

VCS uses computerized interface to transmit the surgeon's actions at a surgical workstation, to the operative site at the remote surgical unit. It uses a haptic (forced feedback) input to transmit to the surgeon the tactile environment of the operative field.

This technology will cut down the travel cost for patients who have had to travel abroad for specialized treatment. High definition video conferencing will ensure that medical professionals can service patients remotely after surgery, obtain continuing medical education, and run the day-to-day business of hospitals without any loss of quality or care."Technology has not only simplified our lives but also presented us with a unique chance to share knowledge and grow each other's individual and collective capacity in our service to humanity," says Dr Saeed Samnakay, a Urology surgeon.

Access Kenya, Asterisk and Sight & Sound will be providing the broadband services and equipment that will allow high definition content sharing and patient monitoring. VCS technology creates a sense of reality for both patients and doctors.

"Our fiber optic transmission is an enabler to this critical service of telemedicine, the company will provide a dedicated 15Mbps connection speed to this service", says Chris Senanu, Managing Director Access Kenya.Riding on Access Kenya's back, Asterisk ltd have assisted and trained doctors in tele-surgery for a while, "This session will showcase live camera transmission inside the human body," says Dipen Rajani, the Director Asterisk ltd.

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