First FaceTime Surgery? Doctors Fight Gangrene with Friends and Family (and Mobile Video)

“Two weeks ago doctors in Tucson, AZ and Los Angeles, CA recorded the first medical consultation via iPhone FaceTime live video. Now, the same surgeons are realizing the value of the software in the operating room. In what may be the first recorded surgical consultation via iPhone, University of Arizona Professors David G. Armstrong and Joseph L. Mills connected with Los Angeles Podiatric Surgeon Lee C. Rogers, DPM, to observe and discuss an emergency operation performed to spare the limb of one of Dr. Rogers’ patients. “This kind of spur of the moment interaction was simply not possible three weeks ago”, noted Armstrong, who, with Mills, serves as Co-Director of the University of Arizona’s Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance. “While we’ve used telemedicine for many years, the ability to simply dial in changes everything.” Mills, who also serves at Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the University was equally enthusiastic about the technology: “This technology greatly extends the boundaries of collaboration; the image quality and real-time interaction before and during surgery offer huge potential for telemedicine and telesurgery.” Finally, Dr. Rogers, who performed the emergency surgery, summed it up. “I think this interaction helped make a better plan that will likely serve to improve the chances of keeping this patient alive and well, with his ability to walk on two limbs intact.”

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