Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, UK, has stated it will be the first in the world to perform remote heart surgery using a robotic arm.

The remote catheter manipulation system (RCMS), developed by Catheter Robotics in New Jersey, US, allows a doctor to carry out a common heart treatment procedure remotely.

André Ng, senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, and consultant cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Glenfield Hospital, will be the first person in the world to operate on a patient using the RCMS in a heart rhythm treatment procedure.

The robotics system benefits patients by allowing the catheter to be moved with great precision and permitting the doctor performing the surgery, which involves the use of X-rays, to operate from a distance, unburdened by a heavy lead apron. The surgeon can control the movements of the catheter using the remote controller outside the radiation area with monitors that display electrical signals and X-ray images.

The RCMS uses standard EPS catheters that can be dismounted and remounted onto the system with ease. The technology obtained the CE mark after going through bench safety testing and preclinical studies, and can now be applied to clinical procedures.