The practice of tele-surgery, operating on people with robotic tools instead of human hands, arises from the need to treat patients in remote locations, especially Canada’s north. Using a combination of robotic surgery tools, scanning and sensing technologies and high-speed networks, surgeons will operate on people in far away locations. Most communities will have a small surgical team in the local medical centre, but in emergency cases drones (pilotless flying devices) will be used to airdrop a tele-surgery unit into villages or seasonal camps, as this can be faster than moving a patient by helicopter.
Tele-surgery will revolutionize healthcare in the far North. There will still be doctors who fly to the many new communities springing up along the Arctic Ocean, but more and more doctors will recommend treatment for patients via video links. Surgeons based in cities will virtually commute to where they’re needed and perform routine surgeries by remotely controlling robotic tools. Demand for tele-surgeons will just keep rising, so now is definitely the time to enter this field.
Tele-surgeons have traditional medical and surgical training, but have expanded their skills to include robotic surgical assistants. They need to be comfortable with robotic technology and comfortable interpreting many types of information to plan and perform surgeries through a variety of different video systems. Obviously, the cool head and steady hand of a master surgeon are still critical.