Can VR training churn out better surgeons?

As technology makes inroads into healthcare, traditional assumptions regarding medical education and training are also being put to the test.

In the field of surgery, a startup hoping to alter how surgeons and medical students specializing in surgery get trained is Osso VR. The Palo Alto, California company has developed an immersive VR experience using its own software and the Oculus Rift device that can train surgeons looking to perform specific orthopedic procedures.

In a recent interview, Dr. Justin Barad, CEO of Osso VR and a practicing pediatric orthopedic surgeon, explained he intends to give medical device companies a new way to work with surgeons such that the latter gain proficiency in a certain procedure quickly. That stands in direct contrast with current training standards.

‘The paradigm of the traditional method to learning a new technology is typically a device company will sponsor a surgeon to attend a course where they will get to practice for a single day and then that’s it,” Barad declared.

The hope is that they get better over time by practicing on patients. This system has creates a fear in adopting new surgical techniques for fear of making a mistake, Barad believes. Meanwhile, getting ahead on the learning curve necessarily means practicing on patients that exposed large groups to risk as the surgeon gains proficiency.

Enter the world of VR simulation training.

“You can practice something repeatedly and not on a patient, which is brand new for the most part in the field of medicine,” Barad said.

Barad asserted that through Osso VR’s training program, users can also see how good they are in terms of surgical capability.

“So what we can do is inform surgeons, patients, hospitals and medical device companies when people are ready to do certain procedures. Or if they are not, what they need to do so,” he said.

By Arundhati Parmar | MedCity News

Image Credit: Osso VR


About Peter Coffaro 629 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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