Chinese Surgeon Performed the First Remote Brain Surgery

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(— March 18, 2019) — Beijing, China. Using 5G technology, a surgeon performed a procedure on a patient’s brain, while being in a different city, Russia Today cited China state media.

The first remote Brain surgical operation was completed by a Chinese surgeon Dr. Ling Zhipei. From a distance of 1800 miles Dr Zhipei has performed a brain surgery paving the way for a new milestone in medicine – the remote surgery.

Using 5G technology, Dr Zhipei remotely implanted a neuro-stimulator into his patient’s brain on Saturday, moving instruments in PLAGH hospital in Beijing. The patient was in a clinic on the other side of the country, on the southern Hainan Island.

Allegedly, the surgery that ended successfully lasted for three hours. The patient, suffering from Parkinson’s disease, is said to be feeling well and is recovering.

The technology used for this pioneer surgery is based on a computer that uses a next generation  5G network developed by the Chinese tech giant Huawei. As the doctor moves the robotized arms with instruments, the 5G network enables the instant response of the same robotic arms on the other side of connection. According to Dr Zhipei, the feeling is as close at it can be as if the patient was really in front of him.

“You barely feel that the patient is 3,000 kilometers away,” he said.

The advantage of 5G digital networks over standard 4G is in their reliability. Conventional 4G has no capacity to transfer video without lagging, which often results in jumpy movement of a picture or video.

For years manufacturers of medical equipment have been racing to produce gear that lets surgeons operate from a distance, like the robotic “telesurgery” provided by the American da Vinci Surgical System. However, the system was too expensive and has some technical issues. The new 5G network offers the change that medical tech giants were looking for and China just proved that remote surgery is a new chapter in the history of medicine.

Remote surgery benefits are numerous. It could allow people from far-away regions or war zones to receive immediate help from top doctors around the globe.

5G made its debut in remote surgery in January when a Chinese doctor successfully performed an operation on an animal’s liver at Fujian Medical University on the southeastern coast of China.

Chinese tech giant Huawei developed a 5G network solution that was used for the world’s first remote surgery on humans. Its debut was the liver intervention that a surgeon from Beijing performed on a patient that is 1000 miles away in a hospital in Shenzhen.  

The new 5G technology developed by Huawei became controversial after reports that 5G waves are harmful to humans, and can induce chromosome aberrations or cancer. There are no official tests that support this theory but the frenzy in the media was launched amid the US-China trade war. The Huawei 5G technology is banned in the U.S., however, it is explained that the ban is not because it is a health hazard but for “security reasons.”

Along with the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK have barred Huawei from building 5G networks on their territory. As soon as these countries develop their own 5G technology, the anti 5G rhetoric in media is expected to change.