World's first live broadcast of multi-HIFU-center event via telemedicinebig data center

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On 8 March, themed on "Connecting the World with Love and Preserving the Womb Despite COVID-19", IWD-HIFU, a multi-center HIFU treatment event, was initiated in Chongqing, China. 41 Chinese and overseas HIFU centers performed and broadcasted live HIFU surgeries by connecting to the Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center headquartered in Chongqing. 

High-intensity Focused Ultrasound(HIFU) ablation or Focused Ultrasound Ablative Surgery(FUAS) is a noninvasive therapeutic technology that concentrates the extracorporeal low-intensity ultrasound beams onto the targeted diseased tissue inside the body, resulting in an instant temperature rise at the focal point up to 60℃ to 100℃ and induction of the irreversible coagulative necrosis without damaging the surrounding healthy tissues. This technology can realize the treatment of diseases without open-cutting operations and bleeding and at the same time preserve the structure and function of the tissues and organs.

At the time of COVID-19 outbreak, this contact-free therapeutic technology enables the doctor to complete the treatment without direct physical contact with the patient, lowering the risk of intraoperative cross infection. 

IWD-HIFU was initiated jointly by the International Society of Minimally Invasive and Virtual Surgery and National Engineering Research Center of Ultrasound Medicine of China. 41 Chinese and overseas hospitals joined this philanthropic event, including Farrer Park Hospital from Singapore, San-an Hospital and Pojen General Hospital from Taiwan, China, the Third Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Suining Central Hospital, Suining Municipal Hospital of TCM, and Chongqing Haifu Hospital from the mainland of China. It is estimated that IWD-HIFU of this year will benefit 1000 patients.

Before HIFU surgery, the HIFU experts team supervised the participating HIFU centers to determine the individualized clinical protocol for each patient. During HIFU surgery, the operating doctor at each participating center treated the uterine fibroid by just clicking the mouse on the central console to control the ultrasound emission, and in the meanwhile the patients, lying in prone position on the treatment bed, experienced the treatment consciously. During treatment, they could communicate with the doctors at times or listen to music or watch TV. 

The HIFU surgeries at more than 41 HIFU centers were coordinated, conducted, and broadcasted live concurrently through the connection with the Telemedicine Big Data Center of Chongqing Haifu Medical. During the HIFU surgery, the operating doctor could get the screen-to-screen telemedicineassistance and support.

"This is the world's first live broadcast of simultaneous and collaborative HIFU surgeries in multiple HIFU centers," said Prof. Wang Zhibiao, director of National Engineering Research Center of Ultrasound Medicine. "By deploying the method of digitization and big data analysis, Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center provides a platform for the worldwide doctors to share their clinical experience and collaborate with each other to perform FUAS. This will help global HIFU centers to reduce the complication rate of HIFU surgery and improve the treatment safety and effectiveness."

Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center can obtain the ultrasound images and MR images from the Haifu® Model-JC200D1 Focused Ultrasound Tumor Therapeutic System or the Haifu® therapeutic systems which have installed FUS 3D Simulation Software, reconstruct the images into a ultrasound-MRI fused three-dimensional image and transmit the reconstructed images back to the connected end-user. The AI-aided identification and segmentation of the three-dimensional tumor lesion providesthe operating doctor a clearer and more visualreal-time imaging guidance during HIFU surgery.

From 2016 to 2019, Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data center has been connected to the treatment of 32,236 cases among which 10,204 cases have been completed through providing on-line clinical support to the end-users. Among these cases, 57% are uterine fibroid, 26% are uterine adenomyosis, and 17% are other diseases. To date, more than 100 Haifu® HIFU centers of 27 countries and regions, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Singapore, etc. are connected to Haifu® Telemedicine Big Data Center. 

The High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Tumor Therapeutic System was first developed by the research team of Chongqing Medical University led by Prof. Wang Zhibiao in the 1980s, and won the second prize of National(China) Technological Invention Award and the second prize of National(China) Prize for Progress in Science and Technology. Afterwards, Chongqing Haifu Medical Technology Co., Ltd.(ChongqingHaifu Medical for short) was set up for technological dissemination and commercialization. Up to December, 2019, 151,975 benign and malignant tumor cases or so and more than 2 million benign cases have been treated globally by the Haifu® focused ultrasound therapeutic devices. And Infertile uterine fibroids or adenomyosis patients after Chongqing Haifu Medical's HIFU surgery have given birth to more than 1,100 "HIFU babies" worldwide.

Beside, this philanthropic event was initiated with a series of activities for "Preserving the Womb" and will be continued on every International Women's Day(8 March) to benefit the financially or physically challenged patients who suffer from uterine diseases from the noninvasive HIFU therapy.

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