Health & medicine Science & tech

Combining virtual reality and touch for surgical training

FundamentalVR is a technology company combining virtual reality and haptics, or touch interaction, to help train surgeons to perform complex procedures. Abi Millar finds out more.  

For anyone pursuing a career in medicine, surgery is one of the most challenging paths to follow – and one of the most important to get right. Especially today, with so many new procedures to master, surgeons need to practice and practice again before they can meet the necessary standard.

In recent years, a solution has emerged that could greatly improve surgical training. Taking their cues from the aviation industry, where flight simulators are the norm, hospitals have begun to introduce simulators for trainee surgeons. This allows them to learn new skills, ask ‘what if’ questions and make mistakes, without posing any risk to patient safety.

However, the quality of the training here is only ever on a par with the quality of the simulator. While it may help boost their skills, a low-fidelity simulator is unlikely to prepare the surgeon for what it’s really like in the operating room. On top of that, many simulators come at an exorbitant cost, and can only model a single type of surgery.

Read the rest of this article in Medical Technology

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