Handheld robotics and virtual reality converge in the operating room

VR training and robotic precision aid surgical outcomes and change how surgeons operate.

Virtual Reality has become an important tool in many surgical training regimens, and robots have been assisting in surgeries for more than a decade. So it’s perhaps not surprising that we’re seeing a technology convergence in the OR.

Osso VR, maker of a VR surgical training platform, is now prepping orthopedic surgeons to use a handheld robotic device to perform implant surgeries.

The robot is called the NAVIO surgical system, and if you’re squeamish, this thing is frankly terrifying. It looks like a gun and it’s used by surgeons to remove bone surface semi-autonomously during knee replacement. As illustrated in the embedded video, it strikes this medical layman like a handheld torture gun.

But surgery is increasingly going robotic. Following the blockbuster success of the Da Vinci surgical robot, companies have been scrambling to develop or acquire robotic surgical technology to bring the reliability of automation to the art of surgery. Johnson & Johnson recently acquired under-the-radar surgical robotics company Auris Health for more than $5 billion.

At the same time, virtual reality, which has struggled to live up to its market hype in the consumer sector, has found a niche in surgical training. Accredited surgical training is now offered in virtual reality, capitalizing on the power of 4K, 360 degree immersive technology. Medicine has long struggled to find economical and ethical ways to prepare students for the operating theater. As VR seeks to find its footing in an increasingly skeptical market, healthcare has been a beacon of enterprise adoption.

By Greg Nichols | ZDNet

Image Credit: Smith & Nephew

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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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