5 Myths About Remote Assisted Surgery Debunked

5 myths remote assited surgery

When it comes to the introduction of new technology in firmly established fields, such as healthcare or medical device sales, there’s always a certain amount of skepticism among employees. 

Why is this? Well, seasoned professionals may feel more resistant to change if they believe that established ways of working are already effective enough. 

They also may not see the long-term benefits of new technology – if the results are not tangible in their day-to-day activities, or if there’s no immediate and obvious impact. To a certain extent, they may also feel threatened by technological advances, fearing that digital transformation might lead to redundancy.

However, if there’s one thing the global pandemic has taught us, it’s that remote digital technology not only allows greater flexibility in the ways we work, they enable more efficient and sustainable ways of working. 

Remote assistance technology is revolutionizing and democratizing the sharing of medical knowledge on a global scale. It’s improving how leading surgeons and medical device companies connect, and it’s helping to improve patient outcomes in every corner of the world. 

But as remote-assisted surgery continues to gain traction with healthcare professionals and medical device companies around the globe, it faces the challenge of some all too common myths.  


Myth 1: It’s restrictive

A common misconception is that residents, or surgeons, undertaking new training or refresher courses, see more in the operating room (OR) than they do through a screen. In reality, in the OR their view is restricted to an ‘over the shoulder’ perspective of the operation – especially with deep procedures, like Vascular Surgery. As Dr. Xavier Berard, Professor of Vascular Surgery at the University of Bordeaux points out in our recent article, for teaching and learning surgical skills, a surgeon’s eye view is best. With smart surgical glasses, viewers get the best view of proceedings. 

That said, when a wider context is needed a device like Rods&Cones panOR, can provide a 360-degree view of the entire OR, and it can be controlled remotely. Furthermore, by adding a screen in the OR which is connected to smart surgical glasses, devices such as Rods&Cones monitOR, can bring the complete picture to nurses and supporting staff by sharing the surgeon’s video and audio with them. 

In the OR, you have two eyes and one angle. Remote assistance technology opens up multiple angles and a complete picture of everything taking place.  


Myth 2: It’s complex 

Unfortunately, the reputation of all technology is sometimes tarred by negative consumer experiences when purchasing a new device. Many people have experienced the frustration of technology as a consumer when a device fails to live up to the simplicity it purports to offer. It’s often the case that no paper manuals are provided, and online tutorials are sought out to get the device operational and use it. Medical professionals have enough to deal with in their working day, without an additional layer of complex technology.

The difference with Rods&Cones kits is that everything is contained within one storage case, and is designed to be used straight out of the box. It’s a plug-and-play technology, which includes training from our team, so you can get up and running in no time. We also offer 24/5 technical support, so you’re never alone after onboarding. It’s reassuring to know that with our remote services, there’s no software installation required, you simply connect to Wi-Fi or 4G. 

Myth 3: It’s unsecure 

One of the major concerns with communications technologies is data privacy and security. This is especially true in healthcare, which is heavily regulated and subject to increasingly stringent data privacy regulations. So the concept of streaming live surgery over an Internet or data connection makes security-conscious healthcare providers particularly cautious. And rightly so. A data breach can be costly, and hugely damaging to both reputations, and patient confidence. 

That’s why Rods&Cones maintains an information security program that employs the correct level of control for the types of information we process in terms of administrative, technical, and operational functionality. Rods&Cones’ platform and stored personal data are hosted and stored on Microsoft Azure (certified ISO 27018). The data is physically hosted in The Netherlands and is fully GDPR-compliant. Our physical security includes:

  • 256-bit AES Encryption
  • Network Security
  • Backups And Disaster Recovery
  • Web Communications in 128-bit SSL Encryption
  • Open Web Application Security Project Top 10

For more detailed information on how we protect your data, read our Security Statement.

Myth 4: It’s replacing humans

Remote assistance technology can improve patient outcomes and drive efficiencies in the healthcare industry. But it doesn’t replace people. As the name suggests, its role is to assist people by connecting them. Deployed in the OR, this technology gives remote medical practitioners a complete view of a procedure, facilitating better training for residents and a clearer view for medical experts who may be called upon to provide support. 

For medical device companies, it provides greater reach for reps who could connect with multiple prospects in a single demonstration, removing the need to travel to multiple locations, and saving time and money. Unfortunately, remote technology doesn’t make the sale for you. You need people to do that!


Myth 5: It’s expensive

Many people believe that remote technology is expensive. But when you compare the cost of implementing Rods&Cones remote assistance solution with say the travel and subsistence costs of sending a medical expert or medical device rep to another part of the country, or even somewhere else in the world, the cost savings and sustainability gains become clear. 

Not only that, by eliminating the need to travel, remote surgical assistance saves time and opens up the schedule for more in-person surgery from the specialist concerned. There’s also a potential saving in terms of surgery times because, with a remote expert connected with the OR, the sharing of knowledge can happen in real-time and potentially expedite surgery – especially in those cases where more specific expert advice is most needed. 


Seeing the value

All in all, the myths around remote surgery technology are understandable without the insight into what the technology is, what it does, and its benefit to medical professionals in terms of knowledge sharing, improved procedures, and better patient outcomes. It’s about seeing the value of this cutting-edge technology as part of a wider repertoire of tools within the healthcare industry.

Rods&Cones offers a variety of remote surgery solutions for healthcare professionals, medical schools, and medical device companies. Browse our products to find the right solution for you.

Talk to sales