Advancements in the medical industry and surgical training allow for lifesaving surgical techniques and improved treatments for patients everywhere. To earn proficiency in a new procedure, a surgeon may need to perform between 50 to 100 cases. With real lives at stake during the training process, there is little room for error. Surgical residents need to be able to practice operations in a low-stakes environment.
A 2017 University of Michigan study found that 30% of surgeons couldn’t operate independently after residency. Most of them depend on medical device reps to show them how devices work during live operations! And when they complete their residency training, residents aren’t ready to independently perform core procedures. In addition, resident autonomy is also limited.
Virtual Reality for surgical training
Virtual reality (VR) provides a safer alternative to medical training. Over 7 million patients around the world experience surgical complications each year. Residents can perfect operations on a simulation before taking their skills to the real operating room (OR). With just a headset and a couple of handheld devices, training surgical residents have all they need to practice operations. They can practice until they have the proper experience needed to move onto the next level.
In addition, virtual reality provides a solution to the rising need for more surgeons. We believe everyone – regardless of physical location – deserves access to quality care. According to the WHO, five billion people do not currently have access to safe, timely, and affordable surgical care and anesthesia worldwide.
In low- and middle-income countries, 9 out of 10 people cannot access even the most basic surgical services. In addition, 46.7 million Americans don’t have access to a Level I or II trauma centers. And by 2032, the United States will lack as many as 23,000 surgeons.
Benefits of real-time surgical training in virtual reality
The methodology of training surgeons continues to be a difficult, inefficient, and costly process for both surgeons. The traditional way of surgical training involves surgeons observing surgical operations from a crowded operating room. Only after observing surgeries do they gain the necessary confidence to conduct the procedures themselves.
“See one, do one” results in doctors taking significant time away from patient care and personal time, in order to continue their education. By allowing surgeons to remotely train in real-time, we’re dissolving the physical barriers that restrict the adoption of modern medical devices and procedures.
At Immertec, we focus on real-time training with virtual reality and understand the importance of gaining access to live training surgeries whenever necessary. Studies show that virtual reality training lessens the time it takes for surgeons to complete surgical tasks while helping them gain essential OR experience.