A surgeon in India has successfully performed the first remote heart surgery on a patient who was lying on an operating table 20 miles away.
During the procedure, the CorPath GRX robot—developed by a company called Corindus—inserted a small instrument called a stent in order to open blood vessels in the heart, according to a paper published in EClinicalMedicine. The operation, called percutaneous coronary intervention, is often performed in patients who have a condition called atherosclerosis, where plaque builds up in the blood vessels, restricting blood flow.
The long-distance procedure was performed by Dr. Tejas Patel of the Apex Heart Institute in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. "I am honored to have been a part of this medical milestone," Patel told ZDNet. "The application of telerobotics for remote treatment has the potential to impact a significant number of lives by providing access to specialized care that may not otherwise be possible.”
Previous procedures using the CorPath GRX robot have included a Robotic Control Workstation, which is typically situated a few feet from the operating table. The workstation includes multiple joysticks that the operating surgeon uses to control the robot, and it has screens that show what different components of the robot are doing and seeing.
For this procedure, the team set up an identical remote workstation that was connected to the robot through a high-speed internet connection. The researchers also set up cameras in the operating room that fed additional footage of the procedure to Dr. Patel, and a pair of surgeons stationed inside the operating room supervised the procedure.
The countdown to the next iPhone 11 launch officially began this week when Apple sent out invites for a Sept. 10 event at the Steve Jobs Theater at its campus in Cupertino, California. As usual, Apple hasn't said what it will be announcing at the event, but thanks to the plentiful rumors this year we think we have a pretty clear picture of what's coming. In this week's Apple Core roundup, we're going over all the new products and announcements we're expecting from Apple, based on the most recent leaks.
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple is expected to launch three new iPhone models in 2019, similar to last year's lineup. This year's iPhone XS, XS Max sequels are rumored to be called the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, adding yet another element to Apple's already complicated naming scheme. The cheaper iPhone XR sequel, on the other hand, is set to be called the iPhone 11, with no additional letters, numbers or Roman numerals.
In terms of design, the three phones will apparently look almost identical to the 2018 lineup, at least from the front. The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are said to have 5.8- and 6.5-inch OLED screens, while the 11 will have a 6.1-inch LCD screen with the same size notch at the top on all three models. Many of Apple's competitors, including Samsung, have eliminated the notch.
What may improve on these models is the TrueDepth camera array inside the notch. A recent Bloomberg report suggests the phones will have an improved version of Face ID, capable of capturing a wider field of view.
The back of the phone will have the most changes. They're all rumored to have a large square camera bump on the back with new sensors. In addition to the existing telephoto and wide-angle lenses, the two higher-end models will get a new ultra wide-angle lens while the cheaper iPhone 11 will have a new dual lens setup with wide and telephoto lenses.
The inside of the camera square, however, is rumored to be the same color as the rest of the phone, making it slightly less jarring, and it will lie nearly flush with the back of the phone. According to the rumors, the entire back of the phone, including the camera, will be carved out of the same piece.
The phones would also get a new software feature that would allow them to expand the frame of the photo even after the shot has been taken, adding in more information. They're also rumored to have some kind of low-light or night mode similar to the Night Sight feature on Google's Pixel 3.
The iPhone XR sequel is also rumored to get a new paint job this year, adding new green and lilac options to its already colorful offering. And the new Pro models may debut a matte glass finish on the back. They may also ditch the iPhone logo at the bottom of the phones and just keep the Apple.
According to Bloomberg's report, the glass on the new iPhones will be a lot tougher to crack with "new shatter-resistance technology" as well as better water resistance. The older models were already rated to survive a good amount of water exposure and are rated iP68.
Under the hood, we're expecting incremental upgrades to the processor: a new A13 chip with a faster coprocessor, and the latest version of Apple's mobile software, iOS 13.
Apple's also rumored to be eliminating 3D Touch in the 2019 iPhones. They would still retain some of the same 3D Touch functionality as their predecessors, but it will be more of a haptic touch like what Apple did on last year's iPhone XR. And at least one of the three models (likely the Max) would be compatible with the Apple Pencil, Apple's stylus.
The 2019 iPhones will also have larger batteries, which combined with a more efficient processor could signal significantly longer battery life. They're also rumored to have a reverse wireless charging feature like the Galaxy S10 and Note 10, which would allow you to charge other Apple devices such as the AirPods (with the wireless charging case). And this could be the year Apple includes a fast charger in the box. Despite having fast-charging capabilities, the current models only include a standard 5-watt USB power adaptor and USB-to-Lightning cable in the box.
Pricing on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will likely be in line with last year's models. Preorders should open the Friday after the event (Sept. 13), with the phones arriving in stores and in the mail the following Friday, Sept. 20.
All these rumors leave little to the imagination, but there is still a chance some of these may be off and that Apple will find a way to surprise us with a few unexpected features at the launch event.
New Apple Watches, not such new features
We're also expecting a new Apple Watch to launch alongside the three new iPhones. Apple has already registered four new models of the watch with the Eurasian Economic Commission as pointed out by MacRumors. But in contrast to the many iPhone rumors, we've heard very little about what's coming in the 2019 Apple Watch.
The lack of rumors could signal one of two things: Apple's been able to keep the Series 5 Apple Watch under wraps this year, or there won't be many changes on the 2019 model. The next Apple Watch could only bring minor upgrades to the processor and the battery life, signaling more of an S year for the watch, or just have a few aesthetic tweaks.
Brazilian site iHelpBR discovered references of a titanium and ceramic edition of the Apple Watch hidden in the latest WatchOS 6 code. Apple has had ceramic Apple Watches in the past, but not for the Series 4. A titanium edition would be a first for the Apple Watch. But we're not expecting either of these versions to come cheap. They'll likely cost significantly more than the $400 base price of the Series 4 and could cost close to $1,500 if the ceramic Series 3 is any indication.
If this year's Apple Watch does turn out to have more than just a few minor upgrades, we may be looking at more health features, which Apple has been investing in.
A native sleep-tracking feature could be a real possibility in a Series 5 Apple Watch, as Apple already owns Beddit, a sleep sensor that goes under the mattress. Many Apple Watch competitors out there, such as Fitbit and Samsung, already have it on their devices. But sleep tracking would require a longer battery life on the Apple Watch.
There's also been a few rumors about glucose and blood-pressure monitoring on the next Apple Watch. This week Apple leaker Mr White tweeted that the next Apple Watch would support blood-pressure monitoring, adding fuel to the old rumor, although he didn't provide any evidence to back up his statement. It's very likely this kind of medical feature would require a similar clearance as the ECG feature on the Series 4 Apple Watch, and as far as we know, Apple has not submitted any studies for review to the FDA.
Apple has also filed patents for both a round watch face and a camera on the watch band, meaning they could eventually make an appearance on the Apple Watch, but likely not this year's Series 5.
Beyond the September event: Apple TV Plus, MacBook Pro, iPads, AirPods and HomePod
That's all we're expecting from Apple in terms of products at the Sept. 10 event, but there may be a few more announcements worth noting. Apple may disclose sign-up numbers for the Apple Card, or reveal the official launch date and price for its Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade services.
Beyond the September event, we're still waiting on a rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro with thinner bezels and new iPad Pros, but these will likely come at a separate event in October. Apple is also said to be working on an AirPods sequel (AirPods 3) with water resistance and noise cancelation, and a cheaper HomePod for early 2020.
Google is rolling out new AI features to its Lens platform that would let users search their Google Photos library for text that appears within photos.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature would start rolling out from this month itself, Google said in a tweet.
With this, users would be able to copy text from the images and paste them in a word document or notes. This works on both the Android and iOS apps, as well as the web client, 9to5Google reported.
As per reports, the feature is currently available on some Android devices, although it does not appear to be active on iOS yet.
"Starting this month, we are rolling out the ability to search your photos by the text in them. Once you find the photo you are looking for, click the Lens button to easily copy and paste text," Google wrote in response to venture capitalist Hunter Walk, who noticed earlier this week that the Lens feature had been turned on for his account.