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Surgeon live streams operation

A surgeon in the UK has become the first to live stream an operation across the globe which was filmed using a pair of Google Glasses, a hospital has said.

People could tune in to essentially see through the eyes of medic Shafi Ahmed as he removed cancerous tissue from the liver and bowel of a 78-year-old man at The Royal London Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Medics have performed operations wearing the glasses before but the streams have only been available to people inside their own countries, this is the first time an operation has been streamed across the planet, the spokeswoman added.

It is the first time that a surgeon in the UK has streamed an operation over the internet using the technology, the spokeswoman said.

While many of the 13,000 people from 115 countries who tuned in were medical students, anyone could have watched the operation which was sent out over a website called livestream.

As Mr Ahmed, c olorectal cancer lead at Barts Health NHS Trust and associate dean at Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, performed the surgery, students could contact him directly to ask question about the operation.

Their queries appeared on the bottom left-hand side of the Google Glass worn by the surgeon, who then answered them verbally. His responses were transmitted via the online feed.

"I am delighted that by using Google Glass technology we are transporting our future surgeons directly into the operating theatre," Mr Ahmed said.

"Using this technology will support us to deliver high-quality and safe care now and in to the future."

Roy Pulfer, 78, from Chadwell St Mary, near Tilbury, Essex, agreed to have his operation broadcast around the globe.

"I'm happy that it will help educate young people," he said.

"They like using technology so it's great for them. The staff have been great to me all the way and explained every step of the operation so clearly."

Professor Richard Trembath, vice-principal for h ealth at Queen Mary University of London, added: "We are thrilled to be involved in the first live-streamed surgical procedure taking place in the UK.

"This is a pioneering piece of work, enabling us to expand our reach around the world. We believe harnessing technology in this way will eventually become a core component to the cutting-edge undergraduate and postgraduate teaching we provide our students and trainees."

Professor Norman Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons said: "We have had a glimpse of what technology can do for the future of surgical training.

"The unique and unparalleled view of an operation means trainee surgeons know better what to expect when they go in to the operating theatre. There is potential for trainee surgeons from around the world to watch and learn from leading surgeons in their fields of expertise."


From Belfast Telegraph