UM seeks to build high-tech operating room with Army

January 22, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The University of Maryland Medical Center hopes to win Army approval for a $2.5 million grant to help develop an "operating room of the future" for military hospitals.

A Department of Defense appropriations bill signed recently by President Bush includes money to help the Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Research Center at Fort Detrick develop new operating room technology.

The hospital wants to use part of this money to work with the Army on devices such as wireless communications systems, which surgeons could use to talk with doctors throughout the building, said Timothy Ganous, the medical center's technology planner.

Also on the drawing board might be wireless data systems allowing surgeons in the field to quickly pull up medical records, Ganous said.

"The primary concern is to make the Army smaller, lighter and more mobile," he said.

The technology is expected to be integrated into a suite of 18 operating rooms that the center is building in a seven-story, $100 million medical building on Lombard Street just west of Greene Street, said Dr. Stephen C. Schimpff, chief executive officer of the medical center. The building is expected to open in August.

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