Published on (pdf) (French only)

Summary from the EXPERIMENTATION DE REACTTM COMME OUTIL DE TELEASSISTANCE EN NEUROCHIRURGIE report, published by the Service de l’évaluation des technologies et des modes d’intervention en santé (ETMIS), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal (CHUM).

Telehealth will undoubtedly play an expanding role in the delivery of healthcare. Information technology can facilitate consultation, surveillance and follow-up. This technology can also enhance the exchange of information between health professionals and patients, as well as between health professionals. A review of the literature provides evidence in support of the feasibility and safety of surgical tele-mentoring. The Reacts platform (Remote Education, Augmented Communication, Training and Supervision) was developed by Innovative Imaging Technologies, a Montreal company.

This technology was used to provide tele-assistance during the supervision of neurosurgical residents and fellows in a CHUM pilot project. The assessment focused on technical performance as well as tester rating of the tool’s user-friendliness, and was undertaken by means of questionnaires and a group discussion. The results were positive. Participants gave “perfect” and “almost perfect” scores in response to questions pertaining to the quality and resolution of images transmitted, the speed of real-time transmission (no delays), set-up time and usability of the Reacts interface. This interface allows live two-way interaction between the learner and the supervisor, by means of tools beyond mere sound and image. Such is the case with the chroma-key, pointers and multiple video streams on a single screen (e.g. simultaneous transmission of microscope or fluoroscope images to both the surgical setting and supervisor). Participants also noted an increase in sense of security and smoother supervision.

In conclusion, Reacts’ technology allows remote assistance of surgeons, owing to the real-time interactivity provided by this tool.