Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Training Simulators Shine at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting took place last week in Chicago, with a huge showing of new virtual reality training simulators.

ToLTech presented their knee and shoulder arthroscopic surgery training simulator, possibly one of the highest fidelity surgical simulators available today. The simulator leverages a unique cryosectioning technique that allows for 1/10th millimeter resolution. In addition, it uses a sophisticated finite element modeling techniques to produce accurate real‐time deformations in response to flexion/extension and varus/valgus forces made by the trainee.

Surgical Training Simulator
ArthroSim Arthroscopy Training Simulator

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center presented a scientific exhibit titled: Telementoring: Augmented Reality in Orthopedic Education. The exhibit demonstrated the use of a Virtual Interactive Presence device to help teach arthroscopic surgery. A Virtual Interactive Presence device allows a geographically remote person to deliver real-time virtual assistance to another individual over the internet.

A 3D printing exhibit demonstrated how doctors can now make custom plastic bone models in a fast, inexpensive way. Doctors can use the model as a template to build a negative polymethyl methacrylate mold of the glenoid, which can then be sterilized and taken with them to the operating room to use as a reaming template.

As computers and internet speeds get faster, and hardware and software components become more affordable, virtual reality training simulators will take on a larger and larger role in the medical community. Surgeons can now practice, perform, and gain assistance from 3D simulator technology - all of which contribute to a more highly trained workforce, while alleviating a tremendous amount of the risk and cost associated with training for surgical procedures.

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