In an agreement with the US Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation (VACI), Israeli 3D printer manufacturer Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) is installing 3D printers in five Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals around the nation. The 3D printers will be used to help plan surgical operations, train medical students, and produce functional prosthesis for patients in need.
The project is part of Stratasys’ Corporate Social Responsibility that “is aimed at ingraining the power of 3D printing across young minds, bringing transformative medical and educational programs to underprivileged communities, and creating life-changing impacts for the people who need it most.”
Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
One of the most common misconceptions is that Virtual Reality is just for entertainment.
However, researchers, doctors and scientists from across the world have been exploring the use of VR in military and healthcare for decades. This accumulation of data has since exploded with the universal funding and adoption Virtual Reality is receiving from giants in the industry.
In turn this makes VR more affordable and accessible to the mass market, once a very big factor holding the technology back holding it back. We’re going to explore Virtual Reality in the healthcare industry and how it’s shaping the future for people across the world.
By VR BOUND
Illustration Credit: VR BOUND
Veteran video game developer Sam Glassenberg stumbled onto an accidental gold mine just trying to help his anesthesiologist father.
Glassenberg, who calls himself the “black sheep” game developer in a family of physicians, used to putter around making medical simulations on request, and coincidentally found, or confirmed, a tremendous pent-up demand among clinicians for realistic training content.
“A couple years ago my Dad asked me to build him a simulation for his residents, and I threw it in the (Apple) App Store, basically because I didn’t want to have to load it onto their iPads individually, and I didn’t think about it again,” Glassenberg said. “The next time I checked, it had an audience of 100,000 users. Efficacy studies showed it improved performance. Stanford Medical School pre-loaded it on their iPads. It got completely out of hand.”
By Greg Goth | MD&DI
Image Credit: Level EX
When it comes to 3D printing organs for practicing difficult surgeries, texture can be as important as structure.
Researchers across the globe have been using 3D printers to make custom models of brains, spines and hearts to practice difficult surgeries. But some have taken that research to the next level by designing printed organs that feel, move and bleed like the real thing.
The slimy, squishy materials not only help doctors get a more realistic understanding of complex cases, they can help medical students develop muscle memory faster.
The University of Rochester’s Simulated Inanimate Model for a Physical Learning Experience (SIMPLE) project uses hydrogel to create 3D-printed organs that bleed when cut.
“Very few surgical simulations are successful at recreating the live event from the beginning to the end,” said Dr. Ahmed Ghazi, an assistant professor in the Department of Urology, in a statement. “What we have created is a model that looks, feels, and reacts like a live organ and allows trainees and surgeons to replicate the same experience they would face in the operating room with a real patient.”
HoloLens, MD: Why this medical school will teach doctors anatomy with Microsoft’s augmented reality, not cadavers
Every doctor, no matter how long they’ve been out of medical school, will remember the first time they walked into a dissection lab. They’ll remember the smell of the embalming fluid, the feeling of peeling back the cover to reveal the cadaver underneath, and being handed a scalpel and asked to make their first incision.
It’s a rite of passage for many aspiring doctors: some will cry or faint at the sight of the cadaver, some will understand for the first time how different systems work together, or that medicine goes hand in hand with mortality, and all will feel profoundly grateful to the person whose donated body lies in front of them.
For Dr. Shafi Ahmed, hernia repair surgery is a routine operation. But on Dec. 9 at the London Independent Hospital, something was different. This time, as the British surgeon made an incision in his patient’s abdomen, he was wearing Snapchat’s Spectacles – a pair of sunglasses fitted with a camera that records 10-second clips for later uploading to Snapchat.
Over the course of an hour, Ahmed used his Snapchat account to share a unique point of view — his own — into the operation, sharing a series of video clips that, put together, formed a tutorial for medical students.
A start-up led by a video game developer has created an app that allows medical students and doctors to practice minimally invasive surgeries using smartphones or tablets.
Level EX developed the application, which is based on actual patient cases, to help surgeons develop the hand-eye coordination necessary to navigate a 3D setting prior to a patient procedure; the app has also been qualified as a surgical training tool for physicians to gain Continuing Medical Education credits from the American Medical Association.
About 60% of physicians already use virtual reality technology to gain expertise for surgical techniques that use endoscopic tools. But surgical simulators today tend to be large devices that run in multi-million-dollar simulation centers.
Sam Glassenberg, founder and CEO of Level EX, compared the surgical simulation marketplace to the video game industry of the 1980s — when people had to go to an arcade because the gaming equipment was expensive to purchase and maintain.