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 668 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the orthopedic industry. Recognized by and the World Journal of Orthopedics as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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