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VR Training Platform Halves Critical Surgical Errors

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Jan 2021
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Image: Immersive VR can help improve surgical skills (Photo courtesy of PrecisionOS)
Image: Immersive VR can help improve surgical skills (Photo courtesy of PrecisionOS)
A new study shows that using an immersive virtual reality (IVR) training module reduces errors when orthopedic surgery residents practice on it.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC; Vancouver, Canada), the University of Ottawa (Canada), and other institutions conducted a study involving 18 surgical resident trainees, who were randomized to study and control groups to evaluate if IVR could improve learning effectiveness. For the study, the PrecisionOS (Vancouver, Canada) IVR reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) for advanced rotator cuff tear arthropathy module was used; participants were allowed to use it indefinitely.

The results revealed that the IVR group completed training 387% faster, with significantly better mean Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills [OSATS) scores than the control group. The IVR score had a strong correlation to real-world OSATS scores and final implant position, transfer of training was 59.4% shorter, and the transfer effectiveness ratio was 0.79. using the IVR system was also 34 times more cost-effective than conventional surgical training. The study was published on December 28, 2020, in JAMA Network Open.

“We have one priority at PrecisionOS; create clinically-validated, educational software that makes it easier for surgeons to deliver better care, and to deliver this value with no patient risk and at major cost-savings,” said orthopedic surgeon Danny Goel, MD, CEO of PrecisionOS. “By pushing the limits of our high-fidelity simulations and testing our technology with peer-reviewed research, it's clear that connecting people worldwide in the same virtual operating room is becoming harder to justify not using.”

The PrecisionOS platform delivers a lifelike VR experience that recreates what surgeons face in a real operating room. It includes virtual human anatomy, surgical instruments, medical devices such as orthopedic implants, and the operating theater itself. The surgeon in training wears an Oculus (Irvine, CA, USA) headset that projects images that create the immersive experience. Sensors detect the motions of the hands and fingers, which manipulate the virtual instruments while performing the surgery. Current training modules include shoulder, spine, hip, and knee arthroplasty and knee arthroscopy.

Related Links:
University of British Columbia
University of Ottawa

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