Marescaux J, Mutter D, Soler L, Vix M, Leroy J. The virtual university applied to telesurgery: from tele-education to telemanipulation. Chirurgie. 1999;124(3):232-9.


The advent of new computer technologies can appear as a revolution in surgical teaching, as well as in the planing and realization of surgical procedures. The introduction of a camera into the body of a patient, allowing the visual display of the operative procedure through the use of a miniaturized camera, constitutes the greatest change that the surgical world has experienced at the end of this century: mini-invasive surgery is born. This revolution also predicts further changes: the development of telecommunication devices applied to medicine (tele-education, tele-training, tele-mentoring, tele-proctoring and tele-accreditation), constitutes the basis of cybersurgery or virtual reality allowing the merging of the concepts of tele-presence and telemanipulation. These new concepts were developed at the European Institute of TeleSurgery at Strasbourg. The TESUS project developed the use of surgical images and data transmission through the realization of international multi-site video conferences between surgeons. The WEBS project created the first virtual university concept by placing surgical techniques at the surgeon's disposal through the Internet. The HESSOS project uses virtual reality as a surgical simulation system. The MASTER project allows the development of the concept of distant telemanipulation. It is now possible to face surgical teaching outside of the restricted University framework, and to conceive teaching on a world-wide level, offering the practitioner unimaginable possibilities of formation, training and the planning of surgical procedures.