Testing Remote Surgery in Extreme Environments
Published July 2006
Led by UC's Timothy Broderick, MD, a team of military, telecommunications and surgical experts recently completed the world's first test of a prototype communications platform for mobile telesurgery: the High Altitude Platforms for Mobile Robotic Telesurgery (HAPsMRT).
HAPsMRT uses an unmanned aerial vehicle, or “drone,” as the connecting point between a surgeon in one part of the country and a patient located hundreds of miles away. The experiment, conducted in isolated plains of Simi Valley, Calif., assessed the drone’s communications capabilities—including speed and quality of video streaming, information time lapses and suturing precision—to see how they are affected by an extreme environment.