Pioneering heart care: Cardiac surgery broadcast live to the USA

01 Jul 2016

On Wednesday at Barts Heart Centre, a complex operation was broadcast live to clinicians in the USA. Funding for the landmark event was provided by us with support from Abbott Vascular.

Technicians watching the surgery from a control room

The operation was streamed via a satellite 42,000 miles away and beamed to a group of over 500 expert cardiologists in Orlando, USA.

The patient was a 45-year-old man and the operation went smoothly. He was discharged well and grateful.

Dr Smith, who led the surgery, said beforehand: “Being able to broadcast and train live to people across the world directly from the catheter labs is a game-changer for cardiothoracic training.”

The surgical procedure was a coronary chronic occlusion angioplasty and stent procedure – insertion of a small tube or “stent” to widen a completely blocked artery.

Currently, only 10% of eligible patients receive this treatment due to a lack of specifically trained cardiologists, so this event demonstrated how the procedure works to encourage its use and ultimately improve outcomes for patients worldwide.

The cardiologist who led the operation said afterwards: “This was a landmark event for Barts Heart Centre, and showed that as a centre we can deliver the highest quality educational events, including live activity from our cath labs or theatres.”

Our funding for this pioneering event demonstrates our commitment to funding innovation, helping to achieve world-class care in our local community with the global educational benefits for clinicians across the world.

Two high-definition cameras filmed in the operating laboratory and the cardiologists wore a microphone and earpiece. Those watching in Orlando were able to view the operation and also see live patient diagnostic images including x-ray and ultrasound. They were also able to speak to the doctors leading the operation.

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