Objectives: Remote presence is the ability of an individual to project himself from one location to another to see, hear, roam, talk, and interact just as if that individual were actually there. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and functionality of a novel mobile robotic telementoring system controlled by a portable laptop control station linked via broadband Internet connection. Methods: RoboConsultant (RemotePresence-7; InTouch Health, Sunnyvale, CA) was employed for the purpose of intraoperative telementoring and consultation during five laparoscopic and endoscopic urologic procedures. Robot functionality including navigation, zoom capability, examination of external and internal endoscopic camera views, and telestration were evaluated. The robot was controlled by a senior surgeon from various locations ranging from an adjacent operating room to an affiliated hospital 5 miles away. Results: The RoboConsultant performed without connection failure or interruption in each case, allowing the consulting surgeon to immerse himself and navigate within the operating room environment and provide effective communication, mentoring, telestration, and consultation. Conclusions: RoboConsultant provided clear, real-time, and effective telementoring and telestration and allowed the operator to experience remote presence in the operating room environment as a surgical consultant. The portable laptop control station and wireless connectivity allowed the consultant to be mobile and interact with the operating room team from virtually any location. In the future, the remote presence provided by the RoboConsultant may provide useful and effective intraoperative consultation by expert surgeons located in remote sites.
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