Virtual Reality Making Its Way Into Surgical Training

Virtual Reality Making Its Way Into Surgical Training

For instance, several years ago, the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York started working with a company called Osso VR, which offers a surgical training and assessment platform to help residents and fellows practice surgical techniques. “If you ask a physician if they think that they have been adequately tested, they'll say yes,” Ast said. So I don't think it is a controversial thing to say we don't have a standardized way to assess surgical proficiency.” He says there are two main problems with training in-practice surgeons on a new technique or device. Osso VR seeks to solve that problem by offering on-demand, immersive modules that allow surgical teams to train in a virtual environment before ever stepping foot into a real operating room. Medical device companies also use Osso VR to introduce new techniques or devices.

Because HHS is the one of the oldest and one of the most structured of all of the residencies, Ast says, it is built to take on something new and see if it works, and it has a lot of surgeons in one building. Vanderbilt's orthopedic residency program teamed up Osso VR to educate and train residents on how to perform a range of surgical procedures. Pediatric orthopedic surgeon Justin Barad, M.D., Osso’s CEO and co-founder, said Osso VR has done studies with a variety of academic medical centers, including a study at UCLA involving 20 trainees. Ten were trained in Osso VR to a set level of proficiency, and 10 were trained traditionally. The group that was trained with Osso VR performed 10 points better on an objective structured assessment of technical skill, he said. “So it is 10 times harder to learn, yet the way that we've been training is around the same,” he said. “The emphasis of Osso right now is on the early career surgeon and we are working mainly with the medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Stryker, but we also have about 20 residency programs where Osso is used,” Barad said.

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