Surgeon and Proximie co-founder, Nadine Hachach-Haram spoke alongside a host of visionary speakers at the annual three-day TedWomen conference in New Orleans, United States.
She shared her vision of how augmented reality (AR) can be used to address the global issue of a lack of surgeons and how all countries can keep up with the increasing number of patients requiring surgery.
Nadine said: “Let’s go back to the core problem we’re looking at here – 5 billion people lacking access to safe, affordable surgery, and even countries like the US facing critical shortages of surgeons in the next 15 to 20 years. What this boils down to is a resource shortage – not enough surgeons with the right expertise to carry out all the operations required, as and when they are needed. If a surgical specialist with the senior expertise does not have to be present, though, if technology can give us the power to carry out procedures remotely – then that is going to go a long way helping us distribute the expertise we have more effectively.”
Highlighting the advances that technology had brought to surgery so far, such as key hole surgery and robotics, which introduced the idea that the expert surgeon does not actually have to be present in theatre, she introduced the simplicity of the Proximie model and the fact that it only needs a smartphone, tablet or laptop and a ‘competent colleague on the ground’ plus ‘the magical ingredient augmented reality’ to provide that next revolutionary stage in surgical advancement.
She said: “From one device to another, over distance, a specialist can virtually ‘scrub in’ over an internet connection, and use AR to make their presence felt in theatre, guiding, mentoring and demonstrating.
“We are used to using digital technology to communicate and share information through voice, through text and through video. But AR does something deeper than that. It allows two people in remote locations to interact virtually in a way which mimics what they would experience if they were collaborating in the same room. It means one can physically show the other where to make an incision, or use gestures to illustrate a technique, rather than just talking about it.”
And with Proximie’s AR technology this can be carried out with ordinary scalable devices including wearable technology such as the Hololens, ODG smartglasses or Google Glass devices.
TedWomen celebrates the power of women and girls to be creators and change makers. At this year’s conference, Nadine was joined by a whole host of inspirational speakers, including model Christy Turlington, broadcast journalist Gretchen Carlson, artist and poet Cleo Wade and scientist Anushka Naiknaware.
Find out more about Proximie’s technology and how it is being used in the United States, United Kingdom, and other countries across the world.