It isn’t the first time Dr Ahmed has revolutionised surgery – in 2014 he became the first surgeon to live stream an operation whilst wearing Google Glass and has also experimented with 360-degree cameras.
Virtual reality is set to be the major technology trend of 2016, with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg calling it the future of communicating and socialising.
The billionaire founder of the social network called headset-based technology “the next platform”, as he launched the Oculus Rift and Google has released a self-assembling kit called Cardboard which works by simply placing your smartphone in it.
Dr Ahmed, consultant surgeon at St Bartholomew’s Hospital said the technology will “address the global inequalities in surgical health and will allow trainees and surgeons to connect and train remotely across the world”.
He added: “It showcases virtual reality for what it should be used for – education. Trainees usually struggle to see over a surgeon’s shoulder during an operation or have to stand in the corner and that way of learning has been accepted for the last hundred years.
“This is a game changer and they can see if anything goes wrong how we react to it.”
The operation will be streamed from 1pm on Thursday April 14 from The Royal London Hospital in partnership with Medical Realities and livestreaming service Matavision.
Cancer in the UK
Number of lives which could be saved with earlier diagnosis
Number of people diagnosed with cancer each year (2013)
Annual deaths from cancer (2012)
Chance of living at least 10 years after cancer diagnosis (as of 2010-11)
Percentage of cancer cases which are preventable
Table Source: Cancer Research UK