Currently, information and communication technologies are generally recognised as potential resources to achieve the radical transformation required by health systems globally. Included in this transformation is the great challenge of training new health professionals, including the development of surgical skills without endangering the lives of patients during this process.

Telemedicine involves the exchange of medical information from one site to another through the use of electronic communication. In this way, telemedicine supports healthcare services when distance separates the patient and the physician. In the last decade, the widespread use of simulations has been increasingly used for training doctors and other professionals in the health sciences. As such, the concept of simulation-based medical education has emerged, and is now recognised as a fundamental aid to ensure student and physician learning and to improve patient safety. Tele-mentoring involves the use of telemedicine devices to support the training of health professionals during surgical practice.

Teladoc Health’s Mini Tabletop device offers a high-end system made up of a high definition (HD) zoom camera and an audio system to create a virtual face-to-face experience with the user. The system can be easily placed on any surface such as a desk or working table. The use of this technology, in combination with SurgEase Innovation’s Connected Health intelligence Platform (CHiP), will be of great importance during physician’s training in the use of the Versius Surgical Robotic System, according to a recent collaboration announcement from these companies.

Surgical robotic systems are designed to carry out highly complex interventions, offering the patient, and especially the medical team, greater flexibility and precision in execution compared to other techniques used in conventional interventions. One of the features that characterise this technology is that it allows for the improvement of medical skills and the performance of minimally invasive surgery through small, perfectly controlled incisions.

Generally, the learning phase to use surgical robotic systems is intensive, and surgeons must perform multiple procedures to become experts in its use. During the training phase, minimally invasive operations can take up to twice as long as traditional surgery, leading to the extended use of operating rooms and surgical staff needing to keep patients under anaesthesia for longer periods.

For this reason, tele-mentoring systems will offer greater support during the training phase, providing expert clinical assistance during surgical procedures.