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Facility vision is in operation

A PLAN to create a modest medical conferencing centre has grown into a major facility.

St John of God Healthcare Subiaco Clinic & Outreach Services manager Margaret Hemsley said the abilities offered by new technologies had greatly expanded the facility’s scope.

Operations carried out in any of the hospital’s twelve operating theatres can now be beamed around the world.

Unlike most other video conferencing systems, these images are seen in virtually broadcast quality.

The same operating procedure can also be viewed on screen in the conference centre’s 140-seat auditorium.

Viewers of the procedure can even talk to the surgeon during the operation.

Alternatively, procedures carried out in other hospitals can be viewed in the auditorium.

Mrs Hemsley said surgeons at the hospital had recently viewed a demonstration of a neurosurgery technique in Hong Kong.

“One of our doctors invented a gadget that a US medical manufacturer was interested in,” she said.

“The doctor was able to demonstrate his invention in an operation carried out here that was viewed by the manufacturer in the US.

“After the operation, the doctor came down to the conference

centre to talk to the manufacturer through a video link-up.”

To transmit medical procedures, cameras are fitted to the lights mounted over the operating tables in the theatres.

Images from a laproscopic camera can also be transmitted.

The St John of God facility is a partner in the Collaborative Training and Education Centre set up at the University of WA.

The CTEC is a joint venture between the university, the hospital and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Mrs Hemsley said the hospital’s conference centre was starting to draw clients from outside the medical arena.

“We had engineers come in because they needed to change some plans but did not have time to fly to Sydney,” she said.

Besides the state-of-the-art video conferencing facility, the conference centre has three meeting rooms and two function rooms.

Mrs Hemsley said the hospital had a five-star catering outfit attached. The coffee shop in the clinic also doubled as a restaurant.

“It can be hired out for conference groups after hours,” she said.

Mrs Hemsley said the idea to expand the market outside the medical arena arose “because we had a great conference facility here”.

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