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Tele-education: bringing the Vista® experience to you

At Cook Medical, we believe innovative product-focused training is as important as product innovation itself. Featuring state-of-the-art technology, our Vista Tele-Education courses give healthcare professionals an interactive OR experience that provides product and procedure training from the convenience of their local hospital, facility, or other venue.

Using KARL STORZ’s VisitOR1® system and software from InTouch Health®, Cook’s tele-education courses mirror a peer-to-peer Vista, but without the travel and time commitment.


The VisitOR1/InTouch platform puts the course at your fingertips.

Of course, tele-education wouldn’t be possible without a faculty of qualified subject matter experts. Our initial tele-education course was established at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada, and is proctored by Dr. John Denstedt and Dr. Hassan Razvi. And we’re excited about the launch of our first US-based location, led by Dr. Bradley Schwartz of Southern Illinois University (SIU).

We recently sat down with Dr. Schwartz, Professor and Chairman, Urology, SIU, to get his thoughts on tele-education.

Q: Can you share about your first experience as an observer to a course?

A: We were fortunate enough to be the first in the United States to receive a transmission from Canada. Dr. Denstedt was kind enough to have us be his audience for a day in the operating room. And we are now lucky enough to be the first in the United States to transmit one of these telepresence, tele-education programs.

Q: What is your vision for tele-education?

A: I believe tele-education is the future in virtually all of medicine. It does make the world smaller. It is a more efficient and comfortable modality that eliminates the cost and headaches of travel. The VisitOR1 robot was absolutely amazing. The interaction, the voice, the cameras, the picture in picture, the mobility – it almost feels like you’re there. So, I am very excited to be the first in the US to utilize this system.

Q: What do you think participants will get from tele-education and who will be interested in these courses?

A: It’s suited really for all people in the field. People who either want to learn these procedures, and have some basic skills, but they want to further them a little bit more, or those who may already have the skills, but they want to get a little bit extra—similar to an advanced course. It crosses all boundaries and it doesn’t really discriminate against who can learn and who can freshen things up to bring the technology to their hospital. It is not necessarily geared only to people in training, it could be geared to people who have been out for 10, 15, or 20 years, who want to further their skills in either percutaneous, ureteroscopic, metallic stent changes, or any aspect of endourology people want to learn.

Q: Can you talk about the VisitOR1 and the benefits this technology provides?

A: Short of being scrubbed into the surgical procedure, you’re right there. The beauty of this piece of equipment, the technology, is you have three cameras, and you have total control from the observer’s side. They’re looking at the x-rays simultaneously, they’re watching my hands, they’re watching the instruments. They’re watching the screen for the instrumentation, the fragmentation of stones, or what have you. And they could do that from the comfort of their own office or their own academic center. And we can all do it at any time of day or night around the world. So, if it’s 10:00 here, who knows where it is at other times, in other locations. It really affords a lot of flexibility but truly the benefit and the luxury of being right there, trying to gain the techniques and acquire some of the subtle things that might help the surgery go well.

For more information, or to schedule a tele-education training, contact

VisitOR1 is a registered trademark of KARL STORZ SE & Co. KG.

InTouch Health is a registered trademark of InTouch Technologies, Inc.

Dr. Schwartz is a paid consultant of Cook Medical.