Virtual reality (VR) is offering a way for student surgeons to build up skills without treading the traditional route.
Traditionally, surgical schools tried to ameliorate a lack of surgical knowledge by allowing students to practice on cadavers. Alternatively, student surgeons can shadow and assist practicing surgeons in actual surgery procedures. However, these ways of gaining experience are less than perfect, but recent developments in VR hold promise.
Companies like ImmersiveTouch, OssoVR, and FundamentalVR are all trying to simulate an actual surgical environment.
By donning their VR goggles and using their handmade tools, the surgeon is able to perform a virtual surgery with a ‘living’ patient, correct anatomy, and even get haptic feedback from the tools they are holding. In this way the student surgeon is able to gain ‘real-life’ experience long before they touch a living, breathing patient.
This helps avoid them having to suddenly learn on the job and improvise around any small mistakes that they make, small mistakes that can have lasting impacts on the lives of their patients.
This isn’t an isolated incident where there is an answer looking for a problem to solve. The healthcare sector has begun to invest in this in a big way.
In an industry where the fear of a malpractice lawsuit is always lurking around the corner, it is in hospitals’ best interests to ensure that their surgeons are as prepared as possible when heading into the operating room.
GlobalData predicts that the global VR market is set to grow at double digits for the next couple of years. This shows a lot of confidence in the technology across all applications with the medical industry at the forefront.