Barrow's new technology permits global consultations during surgery in real time

January 31, 2006

The world-renowned Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix has installed a first-of-its-kind, real-time, tele-presence video-conferencing system that will have far-reaching implications for patient care, medical education and medical product development.

With generous philanthropic support from Karl and Stevie Eller, Barrow recently designed and constructed the MedPresence Conference Room, a cutting-edge "immersion conference/classroom" that allows individuals to view neurosurgery from multiple vantage points (including the surgeon's point of view). The system also allows for dialogue among individuals in the operating room, the conference room, and remotely connected parties. Life-size video and synchronized audio in the conference room give participants the realistic sense that they are actually in the OR with the surgery. Users of the system have said "it is better than being there."

"This system provides a revolutionary advance in medical education and surgical decision making," says Dr. Robert Spetzler, neurosurgeon and director of Barrow Neurological Institute.

The new technology will be used for a variety of important purposes, including: Destiny Conferencing co-developed the room with input from Barrow physicians. Sister company MedPresence will continue development of the system, and market it to other hospitals and medical schools.

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

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