High-tech operating rooms ‘talk’ to surgeons

Stryker OR

New operating rooms at Mills-Peninsula


Ten highly advanced, high-tech operating suites will be part of the new Mills-Peninsula Medical Center.

Miniaturized television cameras will capture sharp, clear pictures at the surgical site and send them to displays that offer even greater detail than high-definition TV, according to Mills-Peninsula general surgeon Albert Wetter, M.D.

Surgeons can access the latest X-rays and test results during the operation, and information can be exported outside the OR over secure channels for patient confidentiality.

“A phone call over the computer allows other doctors to see in real time what’s happening,” Dr. Wetter said. “So we can get a virtual second opinion from physicians in the next room or around the world.”

The information system is called the Stryker® Integrated Device Network or SIDNE (pronounced“Sidney”). “It’s the same communications system used on Air Force One,” Dr. Wetter said.

SIDNE is completely voice-activated. By talking out loud to the system, the surgeon can instantly control every piece of equipment. SIDNE then replies so the doctor knows the command was understood and executed. When a procedure is complete, SIDNE can even show a sense of humor. “Excellent, doctor,” it says.

“A more efficient OR means the patient is under anesthesia for a shorter period of time,” Dr. Wetter said. “Thanks to the increased visibility afforded by the cameras  and viewing screens, the procedure can be even more precise, more effective and less invasive. That means patients can recover faster, get over their operations and on with their lives.”

New ER – tranquil, expedient, high-tech

New ER waiting room

The Emergency Department in the new Mills-Peninsula Medical Center will focus on patient privacy and comfort while incorporating the latest technology.

All private exam rooms will incorporate state-of-the-art cardiac monitors at every bed.

When complete, the new ER will accommodate 50,000 visits per year, a 42 percent increase in capacity.

Sound absorbent materials and the absence of loud speakers will make the new ER more tranquil. And waiting rooms – including a children’s area – are designed to be as warm and welcoming as the front lobby of the new hospital. Read More

Heart saving goes high-tech

When the new Mills-Peninsula Medical Center opens, it will be the only hospital on the Peninsula with Stereotaxis, an advanced technology that navigates catheters inside the heart guided by two large magnets on either side of the patient. Using highly sophisticated imaging, the doctor actually guides the magnetic device from another room, effecting repairs to the heart remotely.


Stereotaxis, an advanced technology that navigates catheters inside the heart guided by two large magnets on either side of the patient.

This and other state-of-the-art technologies in the new hospital will offer even more hope for people with heart disease and irregular heart rhythms, according to Mills-Peninsula interventional cardiologist Stephen Pope, M.D.

“In 2008, in an independent study of outcomes analysis, Mills-Peninsula was ranked as one of the two top cath labs [operating suites for cardiovascular procedures] in California for outcomes in treatment of acute coronary events,” he said. “Our new hospital will have both a dedicated electrophysiology lab and a dedicated cardio intervention lab.”

There are also new “hybrid” cardiovascular suites.

Using these new suites, a bypass operation could be performed by a cardiac surgeon at the same time an angioplasty or stent procedure is done by the cardiologist.