The safety and feasibility of live-stream proctoring for CTO procedures

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The Journal of invasive cardiology


OBJECTIVE: To assess the technical feasibility of a new method of educational training, based on audio-video (AV) communication between an interventional cardiologist and the cath lab staff members in one location and a remote expert proctor.

METHODS: Overall, 9 patients underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) targeting a chronic total occlusion (CTO) between June 2021 and January 2022 at a single Belgian center using the virtual proctoring approach. For this assessment, the strategic planning of the CTO PCI and all the decisions throughout the intervention were the responsibility of the proctor. The operator was guided via an AV link, by the proctor throughout the procedure.

RESULTS: The operator performed each procedural step, guided by the remote proctor, who had continuous access to all relevant interventional details. No major adverse cardiac events (MACE) occurred during the index hospitalization or within 6 months follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: A new method of virtual proctoring based on live AV communication is feasible, even in the case of highly complex CTO PCI procedures. This strategy also appears safe and may provide the patient the benefit of incremental expertise. This approach is facilitated by advances in AV communication and allows physicians to share expertise irrespective of location. It could increase global interaction between colleagues and facilitate sharing of knowledge, which are both key aspects in the development of CTO PCI. This preliminary experience could serve as a basis for future large studies to study the potential role and benefits of virtual proctoring for complex CTO PCI procedures.

Medical Subject Headings

Humans; Percutaneous Coronary Intervention; Coronary Occlusion; Feasibility Studies; Treatment Outcome; Cardiologists; Chronic Disease; Risk Factors; Registries; Coronary Angiography

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