Developing PxLens: “See what the surgeon sees”

Detail view of the PxLens product on a white background
Developing PxLens: “See what the surgeon sees”

Introducing the new PxLens from Proximie.

Our wearable headset enables surgeons to stream their first-person perspective of procedures, bringing remote viewers closer than ever before. Through the headset’s 4K camera and microphone, participants outside the operating room get an unobstructed, first-person view of a surgery as it progresses, and can interact with the surgeon in real-time.

We’ve already made remote surgical collaboration a reality with our software platform that improves patient safety and outcomes, enabling surgeons to remotely ‘scrub in’ to operating rooms. Our next step is PxLens; here’s how it was developed.

“We call it the ‘surgeon’s eye view,’” Ciara McCarthy, Proximie’s Director of Delivery – Product & Engineering, explains. “Think of it as the camera coming as close to the surgeon’s eyes as physically possible - so that when someone is viewing the feed remotely, they’re seeing exactly what the surgeon sees. This is a huge step forward beyond the previous limitations of cameras in the operating room.

“Our approach at Proximie has always been ‘software first’, and we had already built a platform that can readily use video feeds from third party devices like robots, and creates exceptional views of minimally invasive and interventional procedures. For open surgeries, we also introduced boom-mounted overhead cameras that can be remotely controlled to pan, tilt, and zoom to provide views of the surgical site.

“However, due to movement in the OR, overhead cameras need to be repositioned, and there are placement limitations. PxLens ensures the view is never blocked by someone's shoulder or if the operating site is not accessible by an overhead camera, because the camera is literally beside the surgeon’s eye. Remote viewers can even collaborate by adding annotations or screen sharing from their remote location.”

Simplicity has always been a key objective when it comes to end users at Proximie. “The Proximie mobile app will be used to connect the PxLens to start a session,” explains Ramin Vatanparast, Proximie’s Chief Product and Technology Officer. “This makes it possible for users to walk into an operating room with just a phone and a PxLens and start a session within minutes without requiring any other equipment. In maximising ease of use, all the surgeon has to do is scan a QR code on our mobile (or web) app while wearing the PxLens, and then it’s done. Your phone can be put away and all the necessary processes take place within the PxLens.

Ciara expands on this: “In developing the glasses, we knew it needed to fit into a surgeon’s everyday workflow; that they could control the device hands-free through voice commands and start streaming with minimal steps.”

It was also vital for PxLens to be just as adaptable to different environments as the rest of the Proximie software platform.

“We have ensured that PxLens - like Proximie itself - is low latency and able to work effectively with low bandwidth networks,” Ciara explains. “Not every hospital has 5G connectivity, so PxLens is designed to stream reliably wherever it’s deployed - whether that be on the NHS WiFi network, or remote areas of the world with limited connectivity. As a result, this was something that we placed a lot of emphasis on during testing.”

Ciara also shared some wider applications of the technology in the pipeline to explore in the future. “One idea is to use it onboard ambulances. Paramedics could use PxLens to communicate with experts at the hospital to receive remote guidance to stabilise the patient in transit. Another application is in training cross-functional teams: multiple PxLens devices can be used in the same session - so both surgeons and their staff can be independently providing (or receiving) instruction. We’re really excited to capitalise on the lightweight nature of PxLens to expand beyond the operating room.”

This new wearable already does something that no other competing solution offers. “Proximie’s Content Management capabilities mean that PxLens can stream, and securely record and store procedural videos,” explains Ramin. “Surgeons can build a library of their own content to review and share, as well as analyse OR practices to improve on patient safety and productivity.”

PxLens is an exciting addition to the Proximie product portfolio. Its combination of lightweight design and simplicity of use open up a world of possibilities for care delivery. With PxLens, participants can collaborate live on procedures and share surgical content from anywhere.  We’re looking forward to seeing how our users will innovate, improve patient outcomes and share and grow their expertise with this new technology.

Click here to request a PxLens demo.

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