If a soldier fighting in a desolate battlefield gets hurt. How will doctors safely provide medical care?
What if an astronaut in space is injured?
New technology may solve the problem, allowing doctors to operate from miles away.
In the middle of the California desert, doctors perform a revolutionary surgical procedure.
The simulated patient is in one place, the surgeon in another, operating through a robot.
A prototype plane provides the communication link, instead of satellites, which can take too long.
"For example, you watch a TV interview and someone's over in Iraq and we're here in the states. They have to wait for a second to hear the question and then answer. We can't do that if we're operating on somebody,” explains Dr. Timothy Broderick, University of Cincinnati.
An engineering team at the University of Washington designed the compact robot.
There are some glitches to resolve; and Dr. Broderick says it will take several more years of testing before the procedure is performed on a human.
The next experiments will likely take place between Hawaii and the mainland.