A UK-first surgical procedure with 'smart glasses' technology has been carried out at a Hampshire hospital, paving the way for educating the next generation of surgeons. 

Leading consultant surgeon, Professor Bhaskar Somani, at Nuffield Health Wessex Hospital in Chandler’s Ford has successfully completed the UK’s first urology procedure using smart glasses technology to diagnose and treat a condition in the urinary tract.

Smart glasses combine Augmented Reality (AR) into a wearable device that allows a surgeon hands-free access to view and listen to up-to-date information with an assisting surgeon, product specialist or medical professional.

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The smart glasses are equipped with three cameras, a torch and earpiece, and share live video, audio and still photos which can then be viewed in real-time and commented on remotely. It allows surgeons to share what they are viewing with medics anywhere in the world as well as access technical support. Through the glasses a surgeon outside of the theatre has a detailed view of a surgery as it progresses and can provide real-time feedback and advice.

This technology can be used for all surgical and urological procedures including kidney stones and prostate surgery.

The smart glasses were used by Professor Somani during a cystoscopy procedure to look inside the bladder using a thin camera and look for and treat conditions affecting the bladder and urethra. The procedure was captured for training and education purposes and to allow medical professionals to observe and learn remotely at any time.

Professor Somani said: “Surgical teams consist of doctors with diverse levels of training and expertise, and sometimes members of those teams need to consult with a specialist on complex surgery they are performing while the patient is in the theatre to decide the best steps to take in their care. Historically, an on-call consultant at a hospital would have to head into the theatre and give their verdict. Now, thanks to smart glasses technology there is a much more efficient route forward which can improve the accuracy of a procedure.

“For me, the use of smart glasses in urology procedures has opened a new avenue for training and educating the next generation of surgeons. Medical professionals can now experience procedures first-hand through a surgeon’s perspective."