When most people think of virtual reality, they tend to think of the technology in terms of gaming. However, there are many uses for VR that are not based on entertainment, but instead on education. One area of education that is being enhanced by virtual reality is the medical field. VR and AR can be used to replicate real-world experiences without the cost of the procedure. Marion Surgical is doing just that with surgical education.
There are several steps in a surgeon’s life that can be enhanced using Marion Surgical’s technology. The first is in the early training process. Traditionally, surgical skill is learned through pig labs, but that has issues, such as cost, as well as kosher concerns. Because the VR technology can replicate the process entirely, without the need for the pig, it can be used by anyone for less money. The room is replicated by the headset, while the haptic feedback is provided through robotics. The surgical instruments, however, are real.
The technology can also be used to do training on a particular surgery for a particular patient. Using CT scans, the system can replicate a patient in great detail, allowing for a surgeon to perform a procedure on a patient before bringing them into the operating room. This means that many possible problems can be discovered while in virtual reality, rather than during actual surgery. The simulation gives doctors more than once chance to mitigate these risks without the risk of harming or killing the patient. It may not be a foolproof solution, as unknowns can always happen, but it can certainly be of huge benefit in most cases.
The technology is already being used for training exercises and an exciting experiment is being conducted with two real patients. To find out more about the platform, check out the company’s website.
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