Proximie – a plug-and-play, hardware-agnostic, remote collaboration platform using a live video stream with augmented reality tools – announced today that the 5,000th procedure using the med tech software this year has been achieved. Since the beginning of the year and the advent of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Proximie’s growth has exploded with 700 Proximie-assisted procedures now being performed on average per month.
Designed by founder-CEO Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, a working surgeon herself, Proximie is a technology platform that uses a combination of AR, artificial intelligence and real-time communications, to allow clinicians to virtually “scrub in” and collaborate with each other from anywhere in the world. Used in operating rooms and cath labs globally, Proximie has been deployed in 35 countries across 5 continents.
“The quality of health care you receive shouldn’t depend on where you live. This is especially true as the pandemic has swept the world, limiting travel by specialists who normally would be on-site in the operating room,” says Dr. Hachach-Haram.
In one recent case, a 31-year man in London needed a specialized operation for a rare form of cancer. Using Proximie, Dr. Jim Porter, an expert in the required robotic procedure, was able to help guide the London surgical team through a complex series of incisions over the course of five hours – from his living room 4,700 miles away in Seattle. The surgery was a complete success with the patient back on his feet in three days.
“I have used many remote-surgical systems and nothing compares. I particularly like the feature that offers remote surgeons a 360-degree view of every corner and every machine in the operating room. There’s also no lag or latency, meaning it’s a seamless experience when I share my expertise,” said Porter, Director of Robotic Surgery for Providence St. Joseph Health and Swedish Medical Center.
Proximie has been used by more than 80 leading healthcare providers worldwide, including Cleveland Clinic, Mass General (Harvard), Cambridge University NHS Hospital, Guys & St. Thomas’ NHS Hospital, Advent Health, HCA Healthcare and Tenet Health. Furthermore, Proximie is being used by three of the five leading medical device manufacturers and 35 medical device organizations in total. In a study published in the April issue of the medical journal, “The Journal of Urology,” Proximie was found to have performed as well as on-site, face-to-face visits by proctors.
The idea behind Proximie was born from first hand experience of the variation in surgical care from across the world. Dr. Hachach-Haram, who is a specialist in reconstructive plastic surgery, has spent time in her career working in multiple countries globally, including the US and UK. As a result, she knew the importance of technology that could work with low latency at low bandwidth and with existing OR and cath lab hardware such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. When she was ready to build Proximie, she ensured that the software was hardware agnostic and easy to plug-in and play.
Dr. Porter’s surgical procedure, as well as thousands of others using Proximie, have been recorded (with patient permission). The recordings are increasingly being used as training tools, both for students as well as experienced professionals, needing to keep informed and certified in the rapidly changing, technology-driven world of clinical procedures.
“Because Proximie enables the recording of every session, the functionality feature allows for maximum flexibility. As a surgeon, I can review my own performance after the fact. Think of it as the game tape function in sports. I also can invite my colleagues to join me in reviewing it in real-time – as many as 20 or more at a time – and I can invite my juniors to review the content for educational training purposes,” Dr. Hachach-Haram says.