February 21, 2024

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Indonesia Empowering Healthcare with Robotic Surgery and Telesurgery

In line with the rapid advancement of technology in the field of health and medicine, the medical world is now beginning to utilise new technologies and methods to address healthcare issues. One of the new methods that can already be used is robotic surgery.

Image credits: brin.go.id

Robotic surgery is a surgical method performed with the assistance of computers and robot arms. It is one of the forms of technological development in the medical field that utilises precision actions and mechanical stability. There are many advantages to be gained from robotic surgical systems compared to other surgical methods. This is because the movements of the robot are considered more stable compared to human hands.

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), through the Centre for Electronics Research (PRE), is conducting research related to telesurgical systems, which is a remote technology for performing surgical operations using a robot or a system controlled remotely by a surgeon.

Riyanto, a Young Expert Engineer at the BRIN Centre for Electronics Research, explained that the development of telesurgery or robotic telesurgery globally has made significant progress in recent years.

“Telesurgery refers to the use of remote technology to perform surgical operations using a robot or a system controlled remotely by a surgeon,” he said.

Riyanto explained that the benefits of surgery assisted by robots include providing surgeons with increased precision and stability, thus reducing the risk of human error. It also leads to shorter recovery times, reduced pain, and improved the surgeon’s ability to identify and address complex structures.

“Robots can also perform complex manoeuvres and have a wider range of motion than human hands, helping to reduce surgeon fatigue, physical fatigue during long procedures, and reducing data transmission delays,” he said.

The development of 5G networks has enabled real-time data transmission with very low latency. This is a crucial factor in the success of telesurgery, as surgery requires seamless communication between the operator and the surgical robot.

Despite many advances in telesurgery, there are still several challenges that need to be addressed, including data security and privacy issues, the cost of implementing the technology, and the need for adequate medical staff training. However, these developments open the potential for improving access to quality surgical care and delivering more efficient and effective healthcare worldwide.

Riyanto added that the development of telesurgery in Indonesia faces several challenges that need to be overcome to implement this technology successfully. Some key challenges include underdeveloped technology infrastructure in some areas of Indonesia, especially in rural areas.

“Stable and fast internet connectivity is crucial for telesurgery. The government and telecommunications service providers need to work together to expand broad internet access and improve service quality nationwide,” he said.

Furthermore, he mentioned that surgical robots and telesurgery equipment tend to be expensive. This poses a barrier for hospitals and healthcare facilities, especially those in budget-constrained areas.

Intensive training of medical personnel, surgeons, and medical teams is required to master telesurgery technology. This training may only sometimes be widely available throughout Indonesia. The government and medical education institutions need to invest in comprehensive telesurgery training programmes.

“The development of telesurgery in Indonesia requires long-term commitment and strong collaboration to overcome these challenges. With collective efforts, telesurgery can become a valuable tool for improving access to quality surgical care nationwide,” Riyanto concluded.


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