Intermountain hospital shows off new robotic surgical system

Posted at 2:03 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 16:05:12-04

HIGHLAND, Utah — Intermountain Healthcare's American Fork Hospital is using advancements aimed at making medical procedures a little easier for patients thanks to tech savvy teens trying their hand at this next generation technology

Every day seems to produce an innovation and the DaVinci robotic surgical system is just the latest marvel.

"Crazy how much technology has changed," said Tami Montgomery with Intermountain.

Montgomery has spent three decades working in healthcare, and she believes in the benefits of the robotic technology that will allow a doctor to perform a surgery without being in the operating room.

"We see less pain because the incisions sites are not a big incision, they just get little holes where the instruments go in," Montgomery said.

But as this technology becomes more widespread, this next gen device will need the next generation of operators. That’s why the hospital brought the technology to Lone Peak High School.

Students received a quick lesson before taking over the controls.

"You only have two grabbers, so its kind of harder than having five fingers to grab everything or do everything you wanted to do," said senior Spencer Gygi.

Using bite-sized candy bars as patients, the students learned how the robotic arm works in the operating room. A camera sends images of the surgical site to a screen that allows them to use their hands to guide the robotic arms.

"At first, the depth perception was hard to understand, but once you got used to it you got to unwrap the snickers," added Gygi.

As the medical field tries to keep up with a growing population, an event like the one with the students offers a glimpse of the future, looking at who may one day be at the controls.

"This does make me more likely to go into healthcare," Gygi said. "There's all this new technology coming out to improve healthcare, and that's really important."

Intermountain Healthcare received the machines in February and have already performed about 10 surgeries with the robotic arms.