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Formula 1 technology helps surgeons improve their skills

It’s saddening to know that a lot more money is being poured into the advancement of the Formula 1 race instead of, let’s say, medicine, but it’s good to hear that Formula 1’s technology achievements are now being used to improve surgery.

How, exactly? McLaren, based in Woking, UK and currently one of the biggest names in Formula 1, has hundreds of sensors attached to its cars, and those sensors stream torrents of live data to engineers back in Woking.

Those engineers help the drivers make real-time decisions to optimize race strategy, and now that technology is being used by surgeons in a race for life, Tech Crunch writes in a report.

Dr. Caroline Hargrove came to McLaren 18 years ago and is now Technical Director of McLaren Applied Technologies (or MAT), a subsidiary of the McLaren Technology Group.

She explains how the tech works: A sensor is placed on a surgeon’s elbow while they operate. The data is sent via Bluetooth technology to computers.

Hargrove explains that sensors can produce a stream of data that can be analysed in real time for immediate feedback on a surgeon. She says, “We know there are certain traits that distinguish a great surgeon, such as speed and dexterity – how jerky or smooth is their movement when they cut. There’s always a subjective element in teaching any surgeon. This adds objectivity to it …in addition to another surgeon’s feedback.”

The goal of the technology is the same for both Formula 1 and surgery – to make the drivers / surgeons better at what they do.