The Virtual Surgeon

Computer-based simulators hone operating skills before the patient is even touched

12 min read
The Virtual Surgeon
Illustration: Photos, GE CO. (Medical Imagery), Phototake (Surgeons); Image Manipulation, Rob Magieri

In 1994, U.S. Army Colonel Richard M. Satava, general surgeon at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., made a bold declaration about the future of medicine: “We are in the midst of a fundamental change in the field of medicine which is enabled by the information revolution,” he wrote in a paper entitled “The King is Dead.” Of the many disciplines arising from this new information era, “virtual reality holds the greatest promise,” he proclaimed.

A leading advocate of modernizing medical practice through information technology, Satava envisioned the day when surgeons would hone their skills on virtual reality simulators and medical students would train on virtual cadavers “nearly indistinguishable from a real person.”

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Video Friday: Such a Showoff

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

2 min read
An animated gif showing a humanoid robot stumble and recover after doing a backflip

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Portable Life-Support Device Provides Critical Care in Conflict and Disaster Zones

The compact unit is equipped with an innovative ventilator that recovers oxygen exhaled by the patient

5 min read
A soldier carrying a MOVES SLC portable life support unit walks over to an injured person on the ground.

Thornhill Medical's mobile life-support device, called MOVES SLC, has been used by military medical teams for five years. The unit can be slung across the shoulder and includes a circle-circuit ventilator and oxygen concentrator that eliminate the need to carry heavy, dangerous high pressure O2 cylinders.

Thornhill Medical

This is a sponsored article brought to you by LEMO.

A bomb explodes — medical devices set to action.

It is only in war that both sides of human ingenuity coexist so brutally. On the one side, it innovates to wound and kill, on the other it heals and saves lives. Side by side, but viscerally opposed.

Dr. Joe Fisher is devoted to the light side of human ingenuity, medicine. His research at Toronto’s University Health Network has made major breakthroughs in understanding the absorption and use of oxygen by the body. Then, based on the results, he developed new, highly efficient methods of delivering oxygen to patients.

In 2004, together with other physicians and engineers, he created a company to develop solutions based on his innovations. He named it after the Toronto neighborhood where he still lives — Thornhill Medical.

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