There is a major training crisis happening in the surgical community right now. As technology continues to advance, the need for newer and more specialized forms of training continues to rise. But there are no resources available to teach surgeons both the new and existing ways of doing things. The result is that most surgeons aren’t getting enough training and it increases risks for patients every time they’re on the operating table.
Practicing procedures on cadavers, reading about them, or just watching someone else are never going to be as effective as doing things yourself — but you can’t fabricate the need for operations just because you need to train. This and other medicals problems are ones that VR is uniquely positioned to solve.
Osso VR is a virtual reality technology company founded on the principle of training surgeons with real world skills that can be directly applied when in the OR. It’s impressively designed and even the U.S. Department of Education agreed when they awarded the studio an EdSim prize.
Recently I had the chance to try out one of the training modules for myself to see what it was like. In the scenario I was installing a rod into someone’s shin after they had suffered a fracture. The virtual prompts walked me through each action, from drilling in screws to nailing in rods and everything else. It was a very kinetic training exercise and one that wouldn’t be feasible to try for the first time on a real patient without prior knowledge.
To prove the effectiveness of their training modules Osso VR conducted a study. They had one group of students study the procedure using text books and other traditional forms of education while the other group simply did the VR exercise and that’s it. When both groups tried to perform the procedure on a test body, the VR group dramatically out-performed the non-VR, as was determined by an impartial blind judge.
Osso VR is the brain child of Justin Barad, MD who is a former game developer that went back to school to become an orthopedic surgeon with training from both UCLA and Harvard. The company also has experienced game development talent from studios like THQ, EA, and others.
In addition, Osso VR expands access to training by a large magnitude. Instead of needing complex and advanced hospitals to train in with expensive state-of-the-art equipment, a surgeon on the other side of the world can try the Osso VR module from any PC and VR headset to get the exact same quality training exercise.
Osso VR is already being used and will continue to expand its access as the company grows further. For more details on what they’re doing, you can visit the official company website. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!