University of Pittsburgh Opens Digital Operating Room
Last month, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) opened a Digital Operating Room and learning center for orthopedic surgery. The 2,500-square foot surgical suite uses voice-activated and digital surgical equipment to reduce operating room time and increase the surgical team’s efficiency and control of the overall operating room.
With an adjoining observation room and simulation lab that are both linked to the operating room by image routing technology, the new Digital OR provides state-of-the-art training for orthopedic surgery residents. The Digital OR was built by Smith & Nephew Endoscopy, a leading manufacturer and developer of technologically advanced endoscopic medical devices.
In the observation room, visitors can view the surgery on monitors and communicate with the surgical team through intercoms. Nearby, is a learning center called a “wet lab,” where orthopedic surgery residents and fellows can observe via teleconferencing the actual surgeries in progress in the operating rooms while practicing the techniques on simulated anatomical joints and models in the lab.
“The new digital operating rooms integrated with the wet lab provides the ideal educational environment for medical students and surgeons-in-training,” says Dr. Christopher Harner, professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the division of sports medicine at UPMC. “It is one of few such learning and training centers that we know of. In addition to education and training, the new facility provides exciting opportunities for research and development of new techniques,” Harner says.
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