The world's first-in-human telerobotic coronary intervention was conducted in Ahmedabad today. Tejas Patel, Chief Interventional Cardiologist of Apex Heart Institute performed Percutaneous Coronary Intervention surgery from Swaminarayan Akshardham temple in a catherisation laboratory at Apex Hospital, approximately 32 km away. The institute is the first facility outside the United States to introduce robotic procedures for the heart. Dr Patel used CorPath GRX, a vascular robotic system developed by US-based Corindus installed at the hospital, to carry out the surgery.
The robotic system comprises of three parts- a cath lab-integrated robotic arm, a cockpit, where the doctor commands the robot through a joystick, and a replaceable cassette that retains clinical materials for individual case requirement. CorPath GRX's stenting is said to provide accuracy of sub-1 mm, against the human surgeon's 5-10 mm. The entire system costs around $1.5 million and has in-built artificial intelligence to help cardiologists make sound judgments.
Dr Tejas said, “With this technology, we began with 32 km but soon we can treat patients that are 300 or 3000 km away. This technology will cover remote areas and cut down on time spent in a hospital.” The operation was monitored by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani who called it a historical moment for humanity. He said, “It is a source of pride for the 6 Crore Gujaratis that the state was chosen for the world's first telerobotic coronary intevention.