Posted on: 06/12/2018


Gujarat doctor mends heart from 32km away

Gujrat doctor - Dr Tejas PatelGANDHINAGAR: History was made from Akshardham, the Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar, when senior cardiologist Dr Tejas Patel took his seat behind a console at the temple complex on Wednesday. From the temple premises, Dr Patel performed an angioplasty on a middle-aged woman, who was in the operating theatre of his Apex Hospital, some 32km away, through the world’s first in-human telerobotic coronary intervention.

The procedure, driven by cutting-edge technology, was carried out by an internet-enabled robotic arm at the cath lab in the operation theatre, which Dr Patel operated remotely. A team of doctors and paramedics were attending to the patient in the OT, to take care of any eventualities.


The woman had suffered a heart attack recently and underwent an angioplasty to remove blockage in an artery a few days ago. On Wednesday, a blockage in another blood vessel was removed through the robotic procedure. 

Angioplasty by Dr Tejas Patel

Dr Patel said telerobotics is a mix of telemedicine and robotics and has the potential to drastically change the way advance healthcare is delivered to patients in remote areas. 

“Today, the patient was 32km away, tomorrow, using the same technology, it will be possible for expert hands to operate on patients anywhere in the state, country and world. This has the power to transform coronary interventions in practice and beyond,” said Dr Patel after the surgery. He said surgeons can cater to patients from anywhere if they are at a facility with a cath lab, a robotic arm and a reliable internet connection.

Mark Toland, the CEO of US-based Corindus, the company that provided the technology for the surgery, said the first telerobotic surgery was performed in 2001, when a laparoscopic gall bladder procedure was performed from across the Atlantic. “This was the first ever minimal invasive catheter-based heart procedure in the world. With such technology, we can transfer the expertise of a surgeon such as Dr Patel within seconds to a patient who needs it,” he said.

Dr Patel, who has performed about 300 robotic surgeries so far, decided to experiment with the full-fledged live operation after more than two years of preparation. “Any new technology comes in the form of a concept and it is tested on animals and dummies. After succompleting these phases, we felt confident about the leap to in-human telerobotics for a procedure, after completing all the formalities,” he said.


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