Bell Canada donates $500,000 to
robotic surgery at CSTAR
LONDON, Ont. – The London Health Sciences Centre has announced a $500,000
donation by Bell Canada to CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies &
Advanced Robotics), which is located at the LHSC.
CSTAR is a national centre for developing and testing the next
generation of minimally invasive surgical and interventional
technologies and techniques, including robotics. The gift builds on Bell
Canada’s previous $300,000 investment and will fund ongoing research in
surgical telementoring and telesurgery, using telecommunication to link
surgeons who are remote from each other.
“Bell Canada’s support of London Health Sciences Centre testifies to our
commitment of making a difference through our new ‘Connected to
Communities’ program,” said Renato Discenza, senior vice-president of
carrier services, Bell Canada. “This innovative health research
initiative is another example of how technology can be used to build
stronger, healthier communities.”
Telementoring enables one surgeon at a remote location to mentor another
surgeon in an operating room anywhere in the world. Telesurgery is
surgery – actual cutting and sewing – performed by a surgeon at a
console remote from the patient.
Advanced communications technology allows the surgeon to manipulate
endoscopic cameras and surgical robots to perform the surgery while
remote from the operating room. Both the remote surgeon and the surgical
team with the patient have the exact same view of the surgical site.
“The development of robotic telementoring and telesurgical networks has
tremendous potential to optimize patient care in Canada and around the
world through the rapid dissemination of knowledge and experience from
CSTAR’s surgical group to collaborating surgical teams in other centres,”
said Tony Dagnone, president and CEO of London Health Sciences Centre.
“Bell Canada’s generous contribution, leadership and vision will promote
the health and wellness of Canadians by making advanced care available
where it is needed.”
CSTAR’s Telesurgery Project Team is conducting remote surgical robotics
research using an Internet based transcontinental Virtual Private
Network (VPNe), supplied by Bell Canada, and a satellite based
connection with the support of TeleSat. Experiments are testing the
feasibility, software and hardware requirements of surgical
telementoring, as well as telesurgery, using telecommunication.
The Telesurgery Studio at CSTAR, partly funded by Bell Canada, features
both a telementoring and telesurgery workstation. The telementoring
workstation uses the SOCRATES platform, a telesurgery-capable robotic
arm that holds a camera scope and responds to voice commands. This
enables surgeons to teach each other at a distance through live audio
and video exchange.
The telesurgery workstation, ZEUS Telesurgery, is connected via Bell’s
VPNe and satellite to the robotic arms at the patient’s side. This
network, via Halifax, is transcontinental in distance and replaces the
usual direct fibre optic connection used during regular robotic surgery.
With its new “Connected to Communities” program, Bell is building upon
the company’s existing corporate giving initiatives to focus on programs
that encourage economic development and the strengthening of social
foundations at the community level, with an emphasis on initiatives that
benefit children and youth. For more information, please visit
Bell Canada, Canada’s national leader in communications, provides
connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and
wireless voice and data communications, local and long distance phone
services, high speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband
services, e-business solutions and satellite television services. Bell
Canada is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For more information, please visit
London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest
acute-care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient
care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and
international medical breakthroughs.
Located in London, Ont., LHSC is also the home of the Children’s
Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies &
Advanced Robotics). The research arm of LHSC is Lawson Health Research
Institute, which is also partnered with London’s other teaching
hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London.
LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians
and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000, and together they provide care
for more than 650,000 patients each year. For more information about
CSTAR visit www.c-star.ca