Fermanagh doctor makes history

AN ENNISKILLEN doctor has made history at the South West Acute Hospital for her use of modern technology which is helping provide ‘first-class medical education’ to young students.

A Foundation Year 1 doctor at the South West Acute Hospital, Dr Grace Kettyle, recently teamed up with other doctors from Canada and around Europe.

They were successful in pitching for €10,000 (£8,500) funding at the European Association of Endoscopy Surgery Conference in Rome, for the development of a project called ‘Smart Glasses’.


Designed by ‘Rods and Cones’, the new technology is being used to educate medical students across Europe.

The ‘Smart Glasses’, which will be worn by operating surgeons in theatre, will be able to broadcast live to the medical education suite, giving students a birds-eye view of the operating field.

“The ‘Smart Glasses’ are worn by the operating surgeon and this gives a broad view of the surgical field. This is then broadcast to our education suite where our students can learn from this innovative technology,” Dr Kettyle explained.

“As well as giving a view of the surgical field, they also have cameras that have 360-degree views of operating theatre as well as any equipment we use in theatre such as a laparoscopic camera.

“Our students have found this a very positive experience and it is the first opportunity we have had to run a pilot study like this in Northern Ireland.

Dr Kettyle hoped that this would be the start of something very special and that it would be implemented very soon in medical education in the future.

In a Western Trust video promoting the scheme two medical students who watched surgery taking place using the innovative technology gave it the thumbs up.


“In terms of the image quality, it was a lot better than being there in person in the theatre. The screen is a lot bigger and the resolution is really good as well,” said Elizabeth from Queen’s University Belfast. “Just being able to be talked through the whole procedure is really good too.”

Josh from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland felt that watching the surgery from the perspective of the surgeon alone provided a very unique experience.

“Before you would never be able to see it from the perspective of the surgeon first-hand in the operating theatre without needing to scrub in,” he said.

“The image quality from the laparoscope, for example, it was really nice to see and hear the surgeon guide us through the process.”

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