Hospital Will Livestream Cancer Surgery in VR

You can follow along as this surgeon live-streams an operation in 360-degree video.

Virtual reality is not just for gaming. Whether its letting users overcome their fear of public speaking or helping individuals suffering from MS relive their passions in VR, the technology can be a powerful tool.

One British doctor, Dr. Shafi Ahmed, believes VR can be a game-changer for healthcare education and is championing its use in the operation room.

For the first-time, a cancer patient is set to have his operation live-streamed in VR and viewers will be able to watch the surgery from all over the world with just their smartphone and Google Cardboard viewer.


VR camera rigs will be placed above the operating table during surgery and broadcast from The Royal London Hospital on April 14. The surgery is expected to last between two and three hours, giving viewers an immersive look at the cancer surgery operation. The live broadcast will run a minute or so behind the surgery in case of any unforeseen complications.

The patient is a British man in his 70s who is suffering from cancer of the colon and is said to be “excited” about the prospect of having his operation watched by thousands of people across the globe.


“If you look at other simulation training tools currently out there, we have reached a plateau. Despite promises, many medical simulators fail to live up to expectations,” stated Ahmed. “Virtual reality offers something different. We want to offer a solution where we can deliver effective teaching and training to anyone, anywhere in the world.”

In 2014, Dr. Ahmed became the first surgeon to live stream an operation while wearing Google Glass.

Image Credit: Medical Realities, Dr. Shafi Ahmed

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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