AUBMC Spearheads with the First-of-Its- Kind Augmented Reality Operation in Lebanon and the Region

Posted on 5/19/2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016 witnessed, and for the first time in Lebanon and the region, the first-of-its-kind augmented reality operation that aided a surgeon in Gaza to reconstruct the hand of a child suffering from a congenital birth defect. The operation, which will change the delivery of healthcare around the world, was led by Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, Head of Division of Plastic Surgery at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) via an online interactive platform known as Proximie.  

With the global need for access to safe surgery in different regions of the world came this remote surgery to assist Dr. Hafez Abu Khousa at Gaza’s Al-Awda hospital in performing on a patient who needed specialized plastic surgery that could not have been possible if unaided. Dr. Abu Sittah, and from within AUBMC, was able to guide and remotely operate on a complicated hand surgery via a tablet computer thus optimizing the patient’s chances for a good outcome.

PROXIMIE is a unique SaaS based augmented reality platform focussed on surgical education and surgical collaboration.  PROXIMIE aims to revolutionise the way medical professionals provide consultation, teaching, and virtual guidance locally and globally using a dedicated infrastructure for health care providers that is scalable both for medical care and education. The platform is comprehensive with a medical record system, image sharing capabilities and AR  features that allow surgeons to encompass a multidisciplinary perspective by inserting their hands or instruments in the surgical field remotely to show efficient ways for performing surgical steps. With such a new approach, doctors in any region of the world will be able to attain the best possible results and apply the best practices in healthcare.  

Dr. Abu Sittah commented on the prominence of such a procedure, “What is important about this novel augmented reality operation is that the surgeon will be able to insert his hand in surgical instruments in the visual reality to guide other surgeons. It is with such a revolutionary technology that AUBMC will further prove itself as a beacon of hope in medical education in Lebanon and the region. By sharing our expertise and delivering excellent patient care to less fortunate medical centers that are in dire need for advanced technologies, we will be able to propel healthcare to unprecedented levels.” 

Dr. Nadine Hachach Haram, a reconstructive surgeon in the UK and a cofounder of Proximie acclaimed the importance of such a procedure and collaboration. “Proximie’s application is limitless and can extend beyond any place in the world to better serve medical education, provide multidisciplinary care for patients, and aid humanitarian crises and war surgery, all of which are AUBMC’s priorities,” she said.

The novelty and importance of this procedure is a leap forward to AUBMC in achieving its 2020 Vision and delivering the most advanced patient care to its community.​
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