By: 28 September 2021
FundamentalVR unveils soft tissue capabilities that will kill off the cadaver in surgical training

 FundamentalVR, pioneers in immersive VR surgical skills training and skills data analytics, have recently unveiled further advancements on the Fundamental Surgery platform.

These advancements provide a level of realism that produces a credible complement and alternative to traditional medical education methods. Leveraging full force feedback kinesthetic haptics, high-fidelity graphics and 3D spatial technology, the new soft tissue capabilities allow surgeons to manipulate and feel the texture of anatomy as if they were in the operating room. This enhancement opens the door for accelerated skills acquisition in an even wider range of procedures, building real capability and confidence ahead of human interaction; ‘Pre-human competence’.

The enhanced soft tissue capabilities are part of the company’s five-year technology and clinical journey that has seen its Haptic R&D team work closely with surgeons and educator experts from around the world, drawing from leading universities as well as spatial technology and medical specialists such as Dr David Farley at the Mayo Clinic.

The impact of the advanced tissue capabilities are not just skin deep. Its development allows FundamentalVR to deliver enhanced and unparalleled solutions for current simulations in areas such as spine, orthopaedic and ophthalmology, as well as new capabilities in soft tissue surgery, interventional and many more.

“We are proud to offer industry leading technology proven to accelerate learning and transform traditional teaching practices into cost effective, safe methodologies,” said Richard Vincent, co-founder and CEO of FundamentalVR. “With the addition of advanced soft tissue sensation capabilities users are able to make independent decisions about approach and patient interaction and have full high-fidelity control, feeling and vision as they make that interaction. We have brought a new level of realism to medical education to an extent that the need for surgeons to practice in wet labs, on cadavers or patients could be eliminated within just a few years.”

An established player in medical education, FundamentalVR simulations are delivered through its Fundamental Surgery platform that allows users to experience the same sights, sounds, feelings and sensations they would in a real OR. It combines HapticVR technology and analytics of previously unmeasurable data points to advanced surgical skills allowing precision techniques to be acquired.

It is made possible by the company’s Haptic Intelligence Engine™, that delivers full kinesthetic force feedback haptics into a variety of handheld devices, ranging from base station held instruments to haptic gloves within a submillimeter of accuracy, all low cost and commercial off-the-shelf hardware. It profoundly changes the way immersive technology is used in medical education. Often, VR programs are primarily used to help acquire knowledge. Now, with the addition of cutting edge soft tissue simulation combined with the most advanced haptics available, accelerated acquisition of skills is possible anywhere in the world. Building the muscle memory required for proficiency and essential for precise surgical skills transfer.

Already deployed prior to the pandemic, the challenges of social distancing and reduction in elective surgeries has fuelled a surge in the use of Fundamental Surgery as a credible alternative to in-person and on human learning. Its benefits include:

  • Scalable: The low-cost platform allows expert surgeons to advance skills in highly precise and expert areas without the expense and logistic challenges of traditional wet labs and cadavers.
  • Remote Education: Allows users to perform highly complex procedures fully simulated in VR. This provides highly scalable global skills transfer programs for Med Device, Pharma and Biopharma customers globally.
  • Muscle Retention: Surgeons can create high frequency motor skills interactions that build muscle retention through the ability to deliberately fail as well as succeed.
  • Accelerated Learning: Provides users measurements for every interaction and decision to deliver a level of analysis not previously available. Specific metrics include economy of movement, 3D spatial awareness, surgical gaze, respect for tissue, and human factors such as dealing with adverse events and complications.
  • Progressive Techniques: VR replaces clinical trials with sophistication. Through the simulation surgeons can test difficult procedures safely before entering the operating room.

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