We describe the first known use of telementoring in corneal surgery and technology combining a 3-dimensional microscope system, 5G live streaming technology, group chat software, and a virtual reality headset for intercontinental surgical supervision.
Three surgeons in Toronto were proctored by a surgeon in Israel in the implantation of a novel keratoprosthesis device (CorNeat KPro; Ra'anana, Israel) into cadaver eyes. In Toronto, the NGENUITY platform (Alcon) transmitted high-definition, 3-dimensional images to the proctor in Israel who viewed the live video through a GOOVIS Virtual Reality headset with subsecond latency. This was made possible by the LiveU technology (Hackensack, NJ), which is a portable device to increase the bandwidth of transmission. The primary outcome was the successful completion of CorNeat KPro implantation. After each procedure, all surgeons completed a Likert scale questionnaire that assessed opinions on telementoring.
All participants implanted the CorNeat KPro device. There was significant satisfaction reported. A total cumulative score from the questionnaire was 149 of 150 from the operating surgeons, with a score of 135 of 150 by the proctor. All felt that there was excellent AV quality with no lag time and recommended the technology.
Telementoring is a promising tool that can traverse large distances for ophthalmic education.