Off-the-shelf ALLie cam lets doc live stream bariatric surgery in 360 degrees

Dr. Ariel Ortiz Lagardere, of the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico, is enthusiastic about the implications of the ALLie camera for purposes of education, mentorship and communication with colleagues.

Dr. Ariel Ortiz Lagardere foreground right) narrates during a live stream in 360 degrees of a bariatric surgical procedure.

Dr. Ariel Ortiz Lagardere (foreground right) narrates during a live stream in 360 degrees of a bariatric surgical procedure.

A bariatric surgeon just over the Mexican border this month became probably the first to live stream a weight-loss procedure with a 360-degree camera.

Dr. Ariel Ortiz Lagardere, of the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico, is enthusiastic about the implications of the ALLie camera for purposes of education, mentorship and communication with colleagues. The off-the-shelf camera, which doesn’t use a battery to operate, runs full 360-degrees by 360-degrees and at 4K resolution and has virtual reality capabilities.

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Ortiz said that while attending the 5G Forum at the University of California, San Diego, he was asked by a moderator what his dream technology would be. Ortiz immediately responded, “To stream a surgery in live 360.” The tech experts told him that was not likely to happen within the next three months. Undaunted, Ortiz began to look for a company that could help him, and found a Pompano Beach, Florida-based startup called ALLie.

Ortiz is enthusiastic about the possibilities offered by the clear, precise and live view.

Recalling the first time he watched the footage of the live stream, Ortiz said, “You could be hovering right above the patient and could turn the view up, down, 360. And it was live! People could tune into our stream and see it live.” Viewers also can manipulate the image so that they have a full view of the operating room.

Education is one of the reasons that Ortiz is excited about the camera’s capabilities. He said that the ability to share the techniques his team uses to perform safe and effective weight-loss surgeries without putting his patients at risk will benefit physicians and patients around the world. “This technology remotely gives the learning surgeon the ability to acquire these skills without being physically present,” Ortiz said.

In addition to the possibility of improving education and training for surgeons, surgical nurses, anesthesiologists and others involved in the procedure can learn. “There’s a whole cascade of events that happens at the same time,” Ortiz noted.

Others seem to be interested as well. Ortiz estimated that 90 percent of the audience for the procedures he has live-streamed with different devices in the past were not healthcare professionals. Potential candidates for weight-loss surgery often watch, as do people who know someone who has had the procedure in the past, and young people who are considering entering the field of bariatric surgery.

Because the ALLie camera has VR capabilities, there is another audience interested in live-streamed events: people who own VR headsets and are hungry for content. From surgical candidates to prospective physicians, Ortiz said, “Everybody learns something.”

Watch the procedure here (drag the image with mouse or finger to experience the 360-degree view):

Photo: YouTube user Obesity Control Center