Chinese PLA General Hospital (PLAGH), with the help of China Mobile and Huawei 5G technology, carried out the operation on Saturday.
Conducted by Ling Zhipei, chief physician of the First Medical Center of the Beijing-based PLAGH and Department of Neurosurgery of PLAGH’s Hainan Hospital, the surgery lasted for about three hours.
Ling started the operation at 9:00 a.m. in Sanya City, manipulating the surgical instruments 3,000 kilometres away in Beijing with micron precision on a computer through a 5G network and successfully implanted the DBS at the optimal target site.
“I feel good,” said the patient after the surgery.
“I take turns working in Beijing and Hainan, and the operation took place during my Hainan rotation. A patient with Parkinson’s in Beijing needed surgery and couldn’t fly to Hainan,” said Ling.
“The 5G network has solved problems like video lag and remote control delay experienced under the 4G network, ensuring a nearly real-time operation. And you barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometres away.”
In the future, high-quality and high-level experts from superior hospitals will be able to operate remotely and directly on patients in remote areas through remote surgery, completing operations which were previously difficult to finish at the grassroots-level hospitals, Ling added.
The success of the remote surgery has realized a major breakthrough in China’s telemedicine, from remote observation, consultation and guidance to operation.