Modern societies are surely, but slowly becoming the future “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” represents. No doubt, the great minds of now are working hard to achieve that vision. One industry that is morphing into a autonomous behemoth, is the medical industry. Of course, it is no stranger to the latest tools to provide better care for patience. A.I. software has been deployed to gather data to learn patients habits for the best treatment. Hospitals have employed robot workers to travel across medical facilities for delivering medications and taking out the trash. Heck, even the more “simpler” tech we now take for granted, like x-ray machines and MRIs, has made medical experts care a lot easier. Now there is a new tech underway, providing the medical industry’s next upgrade.

I’m sure you’ve heard of telepresence. If not, it’s the ability to remotely control robot/android in a distant location, providing you feedback of robots environment and ability to manipulate objects in said location. It is what marine biologists do, when they send a autonomous submarine to the deep parts of ocean to study the surreal marine life. Now doctors can soon be able to operate on patients via telepresence. Also known as telesurgery. Intuitive Surgical created a machine that will allow doctors to do surgery from a distance, called the da Vinci. The machine itself looks like it was made for surgery. It has four arms equipped with surgical tools, a digital screen, and mobile platform. The surgeon on the other end has two HD lenses, audiophones, and sensitive instrument to read the surgeons hand movements.

The benefits for this gadgets was intended for the military, to allow expert surgeons to operate on injured soldiers from a distance. Which is also useful for patients who may otherwise need to take a helicopter to were the specialized doctor operates. The reason this nifty device is not en-masse is network latency. Network latency is the amount of time it takes data to travel from one point to another point through wires, optical fibers, or the internet. This is understandable since surgery is a very delicate situation, and one wrong move can cost a life. Since 2000, the intial production of da Vinci, network connections have grown incredibly powerful. The CTO of the Nicholson Center, Dr. Roger Smith, confirms “It turns out that today’s internet has no trouble beating those thresholds.” The real barrier to telesurgery today now is “liability and perception.” Once this barrier is crossed, you can bet the medical industry will have it’s next upgrade.

Just curious, would you trust a telesurgeon to operate on you?

As always, from Around Your Screen