Virtual reality (VR) has been discussed on DocWire as a means of pain and anxiety management, as well as a potential tool during operations, but what about in surgical training? In a line of work where the margin for error is so slim, it would make sense to use this as a realistic- yet low risk tool for training young surgeons.
Osso VR’s Origin Story
Dr. Justin Barad, CEO of Osso VR, decided to create his company after seeing flaws in the training process for orthopedic surgeons. With many new surgeons performing their first real operation after reading manuals, watching videos, and maybe performing an operation on a cadaver, Barad wanted to incorporate a tool that allows residents to perform several mock operations before making their debut in the surgery room. With Osso VR, they can do just that.
Giving users the ability to look around the room and use controllers to perform a sham surgery, the device creates a very realistic and accurate surgical setting that residents can familiarize themselves with in their training. The Osso VR software even gives a diagnostic report after the “surgery”, providing accuracy, time, and other measurements that are commonly used to evaluate surgeons.
“Our product offers highly realistic hand-based interactions in an immersive training environment.” – Dr. Justin Barad, CEO
Barad claims that the tactile feedback of the system is extremely similar to that of a real surgery, with vibrations and other feedback from the tools creating a very realistic simulation. As for the lesser than realistic graphics, Barad states the purpose of Osso VR is to make the user comfortable with the general sequence and setting of the operation, and that expensive graphics were not necessary to do so.
Real World Surgical Successes
Osso VR has experienced huge success since its inception one year ago, raising $2 million in funding and winning awards from both the US Department of Education and MedTech Innovator. A UCLA study even showed that in a knee operation, medical students who used the software outperformed their peers who did not. Barad says the company is working with major medical device manufacturers to create training courses for Osso VR as well.
Great news! Columbia UCLA Harvard Vanderbilt + others, are bringing VR surgical training from Osso VR, into residency programs.
— Craig F. Douglass (@C_F_Douglass) June 14, 2018
Osso VR is another example of the versatility of VR in medicine and appears to have a very bright future. Its use in surgical training could not only produce more confident and skilled surgeons, but could reduce malpractice in the surgical setting as well.