October 20, 2020 – FundamentalVR, a provider of immersive virtual reality (VR) surgical skills training and skills data analytics, has today announced the expansion of its surgical specialty capabilities with the addition of ophthalmology (a branch of medicine and surgery that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders). Powered by the company’s patented HapticVR technology architecture that mimics the physical cues of surgical actions, medical tools, and tissue variations, FundamentalVR states that it can now create immersive, data-driven medical educational simulations for ophthalmology as well as orthopedic device and pharmaceutical brands.
Traditional ophthalmology teaching methods typically include classroom lectures, instructional videos, medical meetings, operating room (OR) observations, and tissue-based wet lab training, which is considered the gold standard for medical training. FundamentalVR’s immersive simulations offer a solution for remote, socially distant learning, while still assisting with skills transfer. Simulations are delivered through the company’s ‘Fundamental Surgery’ platform, which allows users to experience the same sights, sounds, and feelings they would in a real OR.
By combining HapticVR technology with high fidelity graphics and analytics, Fundamental Surgery allows users to acquire both the technical knowledge and the muscle memory essential in developing surgical skills. According to FundamentalVR, every user interaction from the surgical gaze, respect for tissue, and movement efficiency is measured and recorded to provide a level of analysis and measurement. In addition to assisting with knowledge transfer, FundamentalVR states that this data-driven insight also enables life science businesses to drive consistency and compliance for medical devices and procedures.
From today’s announcement, FundamentalVR has stated that its platform has been used to create a tailored cataract surgical simulator solution for global eye care NGO, Orbis International, which works to end avoidable blindness by training eye care teams in low and middle-income countries. Orbis is deploying FundamentalVR’s educational simulation for cataract surgery in select residency training programs and prospective digital training hubs to evaluate the impact on residents’ surgical skills and obtain user feedback to inform further software developments. As a result, learning simulations that feature a variety of interactions with human tissue can be created to cover various ophthalmology procedures.
“Industry analysts now estimate adoption curves for immersive technologies have accelerated by around three years as COVID-19 permanently changes traditional teaching methods,” said Richard Vincent, co-founder and CEO of FundamentalVR. “With the addition of ophthalmology capacities, we are meeting this increased demand with proven technology that allows medical device companies and medical educators to more effectively train the next generation of surgeons, and bringing innovative new procedures and equipment to market permanently.”
According to FundamentalVR, the Fundamental Surgery platform offers a scalable and flexible VR training solution that is hardware agnostic and able to work with a range of off-the-shelf equipment, such as Oculus Quest and HTC Focus Plus headsets. As a result, it does not require dedicated labs, specialized equipment and a large investment. The platform can also be used remotely by an “unlimited number” of simultaneous users. Benefits of the platform include:
- Offers various modalities that fit with each stage of a learning pathway and can be used individually or in a group;
- Allows for an unlimited number of users to meet, interact, and teach within virtual classrooms and operating rooms. Users can join, monitor, and access remotely from anywhere in the world;
- The platform is scalable as it uses off-the-shelf hardware and can be transported easily, so as to ensure content consistency and ease of updates instantly disseminated across all users globally;
- Utilizes the company’s patented HapticVR technology that mimics physical cues within a submillimeter accuracy of resistance;
- Every user interaction and decision is measured and recorded for data analysis. Specific metrics include economy of movement, 3D spatial awareness, surgical gaze, respect for tissue, and human factors such as dealing with adverse events and complications.
For further information about FundamentalVR and its surgical virtual reality solutions, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: FundamentalVR
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.