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VR Telepresence Platform Offers 3-D Immersion into Robotic-Assisted Procedures

June 20, 2023

A respected leader in next-generation surgical training, Orlando Health has added a headset-based virtual reality component to its telepresence platform, enabling physicians to remotely observe a procedure as if they were in the surgical suite with the specialist.


One of only two Ion by Intuitive sites in the nation with access to the Intuitive Telepresence Platform with VR capability, Orlando Health debuted this new technology in February. It provides an immersive, 3-D experience for training, mentoring and collaborating with surgeons from across the globe.

“We push the limits of technology on a daily basis and our capabilities are second to none in Florida, especially interfacing with the greater community and showcasing what we can do surgically to care for patients,” says Ali Z. Jiwani, MD, a board-certified interventional pulmonologist and director of Interventional Pulmonology with the Rod Taylor Thoracic Care Center at Orlando Health Cancer Institute. 

Ali Z. Jiwani, MD
Ali Z. Jiwani, MD

VR telepresence participants view Dr. Jiwani’s real-time procedures using special Oculus HDM head-mounted display units developed for virtual reality simulations. The Oculus allows the viewer to virtually “enter” the procedure suite as if they were in-person in Orlando. Expert in a variety of minimally invasive procedures, Dr. Jiwani wears an audio headset to communicate with viewers during the live broadcasts.

“VR is changing the way we learn and train,” says Alexis Sanchez, MD, corporate director of Orlando Health’s robotic surgery program. “We have the device in the endo room with multiple cameras, including a stereoscopic camera that allows the remote user to be fully present in 3D and able to interact with Dr. Jiwani while he is performing the procedure.”


Observers also can select different screens for in-depth study. “For example, if my cytotech is looking at a biopsy under a microscope, those watching can activate their headsets to see that view full screen,” says Dr. Jiwani. “From an educational perspective, this technology has been amazing.”

Orlando Health Cancer Institute was included on the 2023 list of Becker's Hospital Review’s “60 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs” and is recognized nationally for its novel therapies and research to improve patient outcomes and access to care.

To refer a patient, use EpicCare link or call (321) 841-2296.

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