South Florida Hospital News
Tuesday May 18, 2021

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May 2021 - Volume 17 - Issue 11

St. Mary's Medical Center & the Palm Beach Children's Hospital are the First Hospitals in South Florida to Use New Virtual Reality Surgical Program

Program reinvents how surgeons train and is the first-ever fully immersive 3D, VR teleconferencing platform
October 15 2020 - St. Mary’s Medical Center & the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital hosted the first Immertec Medoptic technology virtual event for in service surgical training featuring Dr. John Asghar, orthopedic spine surgeon on staff at the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute. It is the only fully immersive 3-D, virtual technology surgical training platform, allowing surgeons to virtually scrub into a live procedure in a safe and socially distant way from their home or office through a VR headset. 
“At St. Mary’s Medical Center & the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, we are committed to innovation and offering other medical professionals access to many of the latest technological advancements, including devices like the Immertec Medoptic technology,” said Dr. John Asghar, spine surgeon on staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center & Palm Beach Children’s Hospital. “We have taken the necessary steps to perform surgical procedures in a safe and secure environment, and our community can rest assured that we have the appropriate supplies and protocols in place.”
With this technology, surgical instructors are able to provide more accessible training opportunities for practicing surgeons interested in gaining exposure to innovative techniques, procedures or devices. Trainees can follow the surgeon’s instructors for upcoming learning opportunities. This device allows surgeons to gain exposure to advanced surgical techniques for consideration in their current practice. This exposure has the potential to minimize unnecessary suffering in their patient population from increased access to the highest standard of care.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Asghar and the team at the Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute on becoming the first in South Florida to utilize this advanced technology,” said Cynthia McCauely, chief executive officer of the St. Mary’s Medical Center & the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.  “It is very rewarding to be able to continue to bring some of the latest medical innovations to our area, and we remain on the forefront of the latest orthopedic treatment options.”
Medoptic has three features: the core 3D teleconferencing technology, the mobile scheduling app and VR headsets loaned to trainees prior to the event. The platform streams live 3D, 4K video with audio conferencing for collaboration and communication in real-time.  The technology captures multiple video feeds including a stereoscopic 3D video, encodes the feeds, and remotely transmits the videos to a VR headset in under 200 milliseconds so remote surgeons can observe, communicate and interact as if they were physically present.   
About St. Mary’s Medical Center
St. Mary’s Medical Center is a 460-bed acute care hospital located at 901 45th Street in West Palm Beach. The hospital has been serving the medical and health care needs of the greater West Palm Beach area for more than 80 years. St. Mary’s Medical Center offers a broad array of adult and pediatric services, including: a Level 1 Trauma Center, a state-designated Pediatric Trauma Referral Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center and a state-designated Brain and Spinal Cord Acute Injury Center. Additional services include the Neuroscience Center, High-Risk Obstetrical Unit with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, the Rehabilitation Institute, the Memory Disorder Center, Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, Schwartz Dialysis Center and the Institute for Mental Health.  Pediatric services are provided at the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is the only dedicated children’s hospital between Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. Along with 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency and trauma care, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital’s medical staff consists of 196 pediatricians in 36 subspecialties. These include limb reconstruction and lengthening at the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute, pediatric oncology program, which includes membership in the Children’s Oncology Group - a clinical trials group supported by the National Cancer Institute, and pediatric orthopedics. In addition, in-house pediatric intensivists work with area pediatricians to care for children while staying at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.  St. Mary’s Medical Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency, and is a member of the Children’s Hospital Association. The hospital has won many prestigious awards, including the Tenet Circle of Excellence award.  To learn more about St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, visit, or call 561-844-6300.
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