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iVis Technologies enables remotely-controlled corneal telesurgery

It's based on Italian technologies the first successful intercontinental telesurgery intervention for keratoconus carried out remotely, connecting Bari and Dubai

Technology

Telesurgery has been a concrete option since a long time, but an intercontinental delicate precision surgery carried out on the eyes of a remote patient, thousands of kilometers away, is well woth a mention. Also because it's a "first": the first successful intercontinental telesurgery intervention for keratoconus carried out remotely, connecting Bari and Dubai. Thanks also to Italian technologies.

An iRes2 laser unit by Italian company iVis Technologies, installed in the operating room of the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Policlinico of Bari, was connected wirelessly, via 5G, with an iVis Remote Control Station installed in the Falcon Ballroom of the Le Méridien Congress Center in Dubai, during the World Keratoconus Congress. The operated patient suffered from advanced keratoconus, an evolving condition causing visual impairment uncorrectable with glasses and, if left untreated, may lead to corneal transplantation.

In the days preceding the surgery, the patient underwent a series of diagnostic tests. High-resolution images acquired with the iVis Diagnostic Platform allowed determining the stage and extent of the pathology, information used to plan customized treatment to improve vision, halt the progression of the disease, and minimize surgical invasiveness, through Ray-tracing technique, using the CiptaWeb application by iVis Technologies.

From Dubai, Prof. Giovanni Alessio (Full Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Bari and Director of the Ophthalmology Department of the Policlinico of Bari) controlled and guided in real-time, with the iVis Remote Control Station equipped with a 3D viewer, the laser unit installed at the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Policlinico of Bari. The patient was assisted in the operating room by a dedicated team. The surgery combined corneal reshaping to improve vision and crosslinking to halt the progression of keratoconus.

The surgery is the latest and most complex of a series of three remotely controlled surgeries carried out to demonstrate that, thanks to remote control, patients will no longer need to undertake long journeys to receive the best possible care. We must continue to invest in the research and development of these innovative technologies, ensuring they are accessible to all who need them,” said Prof. Giovanni Alessio.

iVis Technologies solutions help in managing and automating the entire medical cycle before and after optical surgery of corneal pathologies. Being able to handle remotely all necessary procedures, with an high degree of automation, “Ensure performance homogeneity regardless of the delivery site, in order to eliminate patient migration for health needs. A revolution that can significantly improve the quality of life of millions of people worldwide, with considerable resource savings,” explained Eng. Giuseppe D’Ippolito, sole director of iVis Technologies.

The intervention was made possible thanks to TIM’s 5G technology, which, in collaboration with Ericsson, installed suitable infrastructure at the Ophthalmology Clinic of the Policlinico of Bari and allowed maintaining adequate transmission latency between the iVis Remote Control Station and the iRes2 laser, ensuring perfect synchronization between remote commands and action. The 5G connection provided by TIM at the Policlinico of Bari was achieved through the installation of a 5G radio module for indoor coverage by Ericsson, interconnected with TIM’s Core Network through a 10Gbps fiber optic access.

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