VR Used to Simulate Ophthalmoscope Training

From VR Medicine News – A VR-based ophthalmoscopy training system is able to simulate the processes involved in performing eye exams, according to a new report. “The VR ophthalmoscope was developed by a clinical team and technologist using the unity game engine, smartphone and virtual reality headset,” noted the authors, led by AS Wilson, with the School of Computing and Digital Technology, at Birmingham City University, United Kingdom. “It has a series of tasks that include performing systematic eye examinations, identifying common eye pathologies and a knowledge quiz,” they added. According to the researchers, the app was highly rated for all elements of perceived usefulness, ease of use and usability. A total of 15 medical students rated the approach. “Medical students stated that they would like to be taught other medical skills in this way in future,” the authors concluded.

Wilson AS, O’Connor J, Taylor L, Carruthers D. A 3D virtual reality ophthalmoscopy trainer. Clin Teach. 2017 Apr 12. doi: 10.1111/tct.12646.

VR Decision-Making Simulator Improves Trauma Care

From VR Medicine News–A new study aimed to create a training simulator for Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) using the Oculus™ Gear-VR. To test the simulator, 11 instructors led 18 students in decision making during trauma life support. The group led by instructors performed significantly better, with less fatal errors and incorrect decisions. The participants found the simulation an enjoyable and cost effective means of learning ATLS skills. “We believe that virtual-reality technology is a viable platform for medical-simulation into the future,” the authors conclude.

Harrington CM, Kavanagh DO, Quinlan JF, et al. Development and evaluation of a trauma decision-making simulator in Oculus virtual reality. Am J Surg. 2017.

VR Simulation Can Help in Training for Cochlear Implant Surgery

From VR Medicine News–A new study sought to determine whether cochlear implant surgery training can be performed using a VR temporal bone simulator. Simulated surgeries were performed by 12 otolaryngology registrars, who received automated feedback on their performance. The participants were found to have improved cochlear surgical skill after engaging in the VR simulation. “The results of the study indicate that VR simulation with automated guidance can effectively be used to train surgeons in complex temporal bone surgeries such as cochlear implantation,” the authors conclude.

Copson B, Wijewickrema S, Zhou Y, et al. Supporting skill acquisition in cochlear implant surgery through virtual reality simulation. Cochlear Implants Int. 2017;18:89-96.

A New Way to Learn Surgery With VR

A new study aimed to develop a new way to learn surgical techniques using VR simulation. Immersive 3D video was captured during 20 surgical performances by experienced surgeons and students were able to observe and learn from these films using a VR headset. Whether this method provides measurable benefit to surgical students has not yet been determined. “This new approach enhances the understanding of surgery; most of the surgeons appreciated its pedagogic value. This method could be an effective learning tool in the future,” the authors conclude.

Ros M, Trives JV, Lonjon N. From stereoscopic recording to virtual reality headsets: Designing a new way to learn surgery. Neurochirurgie. 2017;16:1-5.

Medical Dramas Can Get CME Credit

Somewhat remarkably, the Accreditation Council For Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Big Boss of CME in the US, announced this week that doctors can earn continuing medical education (CME) credit by watching popular medical dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy, ER & Chicago Med. What does this mean for VR? Not sure yet, but it certainly paves the way for acceptance of VR productions in medicine that are not only educational but entertaining as well. Read full story.



VR, AR and its Future Role in Surgery

From VR Medicine News–Two review articles published this week in the Annals of Translational Medicine focus on the role of VR in surgery. One of the studies1, led by Wee Sim Khor, MD, with the Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK, reviews some of the the potential areas of development in the surgical arena as well as legal aspects of its use.  The other study2, led by Ido Badash, a medical student at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, describes the past, present and future of surgery simulation, including 3D printing, AR, and VR. Advances in surgical simulation, Badash and colleagues note, will “strengthen the surgeon’s skill set, decrease hospital costs, and improve patient outcomes.” Both full text articles are available at the links below.

1.  Khor WS, Baker B, Amin K, Chan A, Patel K, Wong J. Augmented and virtual reality in surgery-the digital surgical environment: applications, limitations and legal pitfalls. Ann Transl Med. 2016 Dec;4(23):454. doi: 10.21037/atm.2016.12.23.
2. Badash I, Burtt K, Solorzano CA, Carey JN. Innovations in surgery simulation: a review of past, current and future techniques. Ann Transl Med. 2016;4(23):453. doi: 10.21037/atm.2016.12.24.

VR and Benchtop Arthroscopy Simulator Show Different Training Outcomes

British researchers have compared a virtual reality (VR) arthroscopy simulator with a benchtop (BT) arthroscopy simulator and found that both simulators delivered improvements in arthroscopic skills. However, BT training led to skills that readily transferred to the VR simulator, whereas skills acquired after VR training did not transfer as readily to the BT simulator. “Despite trainees receiving automated metric feedback from the VR simulator, the results suggest a greater gain in psychomotor skills for BT training,” the authors conclude. “Further work is required to determine if this finding persists in the operating room.”

Middleton RM, Alvand A, Garfjeld Roberts P, Hargrove C, Kirby G, Rees JL. Simulation-Based Training Platforms for Arthroscopy: A Randomized Comparison of Virtual Reality Learning to Benchtop Learning. Arthroscopy. 2017 Jan 7. pii: S0749-8063(16)30893-3. doi:10.1016/j.arthro.2016.10.021.

Barts to Launch the UK’s First Medtech Program for Medical Students

This Friday, Jan 13th, 2017, a new program called BartsX will be rolled out at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry  (follow on twitter #BartsX, @BartsXmed). The new program will teach medical students each week about digital health, VR and telemedicine technologies, and entrepreneurship. See interview with Dr. Shafi Ahmed, a program participant, digital health leader, and “Snapchat Surgeon”. Why it’s relevant: these types of programs will likely become much more prevalent in med schools in the next few years.