Proximie partners with Sydney-based cancer hospital, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

Proximie partners with Sydney-based cancer hospital, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
“Live sharing of surgical techniques is the future of surgical education, replacing the slow, firewalled and siloed repository of information.”

Proximie has partnered with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Australia, with the goal of enabling surgeons in the region to share their skills remotely and in real-time, and highlight new surgical techniques that would otherwise be siloed due to geography or time.

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a not-for-profit, comprehensive cancer hospital in Camperdown, Sydney. From screening to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and wellness, it treats all cancer types, specializing in those that are complex and rare. It offers patients every service and therapy they need including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, complementary therapies and supportive services, all under one roof.

Proximie has been integrated into the existing Stryker iSuite integrated OR ecosystem at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, so that Professor Carsten E. Palme, Head of Surgical Services and Director of Head and Neck Surgery, and his surgical colleagues can more effectively upskill and mentor clinicians on advanced cancer treatment techniques; techniques that can be shared globally, delivering better access to care irrespective of location.

The partnership also aims to improve training and connections with past, present, and future surgeons supporting the renowned annual fellowship programme at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. As well as empowering them to share techniques with colleagues and peers, use of the Proximie platform will enable Surgical Case Libraries to optimize training, research, audit, self-reflection, and best practice sharing – thus enabling the continued training journey for past and present surgeons.

Using Proximie, clinicians are now able to collaborate in a way that not only increases the ability to share techniques, but also reduces the need to travel – thereby speeding up learning by freeing surgeons from the geographical and time constraints of having to learn new techniques in person.  

On 11th November 2022, plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr Joe Dusseldorp demonstrated his pioneering technique for breast reconstructive surgery using the newly-integrated capabilities of Proximie at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Dr Dusseldorp performed a robotic approach to deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap, while – over a seamless connection facilitated by Proximie – Dr Minas Chrysopoulo of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons virtually-scrubbed in real-time, from a Texas Hospital some 13,500kms away.

Following this demonstration, Director of Breast Surgery Dr Cindy Mak was able to interact with Dr Chrysopoulo as well, shining a light on the work of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Breast Unit and emphasising the importance of closer communication and collaboration between experts as a means of optimizing treatment for cancer patients.

Dr. Dusseldorp explains: “Being able to have a world leading plastic surgeon colleague, Dr Minas Chrysopoulo, livestream into my operating theatre and see exactly what I could see through the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical Console in exquisite detail was game-changing. Live sharing of surgical techniques is the future of surgical education, replacing the slow, firewalled and siloed repository of information in peer-reviewed surgical journals and the brief, highly curated and immediately out of date PowerPoint presentations at international meetings. Being able to learn from master surgeons in real-time as they perform their current techniques will be revolutionary, enabling equitable access to the latest techniques for surgeons all over the world and fostering rapid innovation.

Minas Chrysopoulo, MD FACS, President of PRMA Plastic Surgery, in San Antonio, Texas, explains: “Wow. What a surreal experience. Thank you Proximie for providing this incredible, ground-breaking opportunity. Dr Joe Dusseldorp and I have been in touch many times, exchanging ideas on how to further advance microsurgical breast reconstruction techniques, a topic we’re both very passionate about. We have yet to meet in person – I live in San Antonio, Texas and Joe is in Australia. Thanks to Proximie, I was able to join him in real time during a robotic DIEP flap procedure from the other side of the world. The visualization and audiovisual connections were perfect and seamless. I was able to see the surgical field in exquisite detail and discuss the procedure with Joe in real time. I am convinced this technology can revolutionize surgical education and collaboration moving forward, and greatly facilitate the democratization of surgical knowledge and expertise worldwide.”

“Our partnership with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is just the latest example of our equalizing access to surgery for patients across the world via the Proximie platform,” says Dr Nadine Hachach-Haram, CEO and founder of Proximie. “Professor Palme and his fellow surgeons at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse are leaders in their field and doing wonderful work. Their surgeons, past and present, want to maintain connections and share their knowledge, knowing it will directly lead to better patient outcomes and improved access to care.

“Partnerships such as this are a fantastic example of Proximie’s power, and how digitizing the operating theatre can save lives.”

Dr. Dusseldrop adds: “Everything about Proximie was intuitive, the software is easy to use and the image quality is exceptional. Simultaneously recording data streams from room cameras, operating table light cameras as well as the operative robot and microscope has led to unexpected insights into potential efficiency and ergonomic modifications of the procedure. The benefit is not only being able to share my technique with colleagues live, but also the video recording is now stored in my library where it can be used for future training, audit, self reflection and best practise sharing too.”    

As well as customizing its Stryker iSuite integrated OR ecosystem to include Proximie, the full suite at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse allows experts to educate up to 50 other surgeons at a time from anywhere. Key features include: seamless routing of four low latency HD camera views, annotation and augmented reality tools – to bring the room together, and a cloud based video library of previous surgeries used for educational reviews.

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