Ipswich: New Hospital Robot For Doctor Training

30 January 2014, 15:43 | Updated: 30 January 2014, 16:16

A new robot is being put in at Ipswich hospital to help train doctors and surgeons.

It's a machine covered in cameras that's linked with another one over in Strasbourg in France, so doctors over there can use it too. It will mean medical staff can watch a live operation at any time and from any place as well as allowing them to be in two places at once.

It was the first ever live link up from the UK earlier, and the French President François Hollande visited the one in France to see it in action. Doctors filmed a live procedure which could be seen and heard by the group.

Ipswich hospital is the first in the UK to have something like this and because operations can be viewed across the world, it's claimed it will give better training to doctors.

The robot's been called VISIT OR1 and has a female voice. It says basic commands to anyone using it.

Martin Sinclair, a consultant at the hospital who will be using it, told Heart: "The main way we can use this is for teaching medical students and teaching trainees. It allows surgeons to be trained or to get training and mentorship from people in other countries.

"It was delivered here last week and there's no other one in the UK so it's quite exciting. 

"I'm going to be using it for training the next generation of surgeons."

We asked him what the robot can say to them:

"It does talk, it's got a female voice and it says fairly basic commands like what's got to be done and where things have to be plugged in."