The link between simulation and improved surgical performance is well established (1), however, here at Fundamental Surgery, we estimate that less than half of one percent of surgeons currently have any day-to-day access to surgical simulation.
The problem lies not in justifying the value of such training techniques but in the high cost of the equipment plus accessibility and availability of the simulation machines for those wanting/needing to use them the most.
Fundamental Surgery provides a solution to this problem, offering high fidelity VR simulation combined with unique haptics (delivering the sense of touch), using affordable of-the-shelf hardware. Welcome to the democratization of surgical simulation.
Surgical advancements continue to accelerate across all disciplines and this continued environment of development puts pressure on the education and training systems. Surgeons needs more opportunity to practice and rehearse and the budgetary environment of all hospitals systems means this needs to be delivered at a relatively low unit cost. Quite simply, practice makes perfect and repetition fosters muscle memory. As Professor Bronek Boszczyk commented “training on the job with these techniques, is like learning to play an instrument within an orchestra”. The goal must be to give surgeons of all levels access to effective simulation that works with their schedules, to put quality simulation within arm’s reach of the clinical environment. Familiarity and practice can and will have an direct impact on improved patient outcomes.
Undoubtedly the inhibitor to adoption is one of cost. There is no doubt that every surgeon would like to have the ability to switch into a virtual OR and practice or learn new techniques but the cost of traditional solutions quickly escalates into high five or six figure sums. The result, very limited access. Most medical professionals can not gain access to a simulator quickly and may have to travel significant distances. What is needed is simulation within (or very close to) the clinical environment. It’s not a case of a hospital having ‘a’ simulator, there should be a number delivering a range of solutions to all medical staff when they want to access it. But to do this, they need to be cost effective.
The Fundamental Surgery platform offers a solution to this global challenge. By combining an immersive virtual reality and haptic software platform with low-cost, off-the-shelf hardware the opportunity for real change is now here. A system that could be fully operational for sub $20,000 (at least a fifth of the cost of most existing simulation solutions). Meaning that it’s both scalable and accessible, delivering high fidelity (touch, vision, sound) and fully immersive procedural simulation. Richard Vincent, CEO described Fundamental Surgery as a unique training tool, and said that the business objective was to put medical simulation training within arm’s reach of medical professionals around the world.
The US spends $15bn a year to train doctors, and yet there is still an obvious gap in medical simulation training being accessible to all. Fundamental Surgery provides scalable, low cost simulations which in the long run has the potential to create safer learning environments, and ultimately better patient outcomes. Welcome to the democratization of surgery.
(1) Cook DA, Hatala R, Brydges R, Zendejas B, Szostek JH, Wang AT, Erwin PJ, Hamstra SJ. JAMA. 2011 Sep 7;306(9):978-88. doi: 10.1001/jama.2011.1234. Review.
FundamentalVR were pleased to be invited to participate in the Global Education & Skills Forum during March 2018. Exploring the latest trends in education, how technology will positively impact them and providing hands on experience with our VR simulation system, Fundamental Surgery.
Young students exploring FundamentalSurgery.
George Osborne and Lord Gadhia meet the founders of FundamentalVR.
Richard Vincent, co-founder of FundamentalVR discussing the future of health education at GESF.
US Embassy London
We were pleased to be invited by the great team at the new US Embassy London to discuss FundamentalVR’s expansion into the US this week and meet with Ambassador Johnson (Woody). We look forward to the return visit to Washington as part of the SelectUSA programme in June.
UK ISCF Healthcare challenge
FundamentalVR are proud to announce their success in the Innovate UK ISCF Healthcare challenge. In collaboration with King’s College London the two organisation have successfully secured an innovate UK grant to support the development of their innovative VR & haptic surgical medical training system.
Listen to co-founder Chris Scattergood interviewed recently on the BBC World Service.
World’s first VR brain surgery
First Featured in Mashable 11/9/17:
Ever wanted to hang out in the operating theatre to see a brain surgery with your own eyes?
Then this immersive video is for you. The neurosurgical team at The Royal London Hospital have published the first 360 VR film showing a patient undergoing surgery to treat life-threatening brain aneurysms.
With a combination of 360 HD cameras and head-mounted GoPros, viewers can experience the surgery both from the point of view of the patient and the surgeon.
At the beginning of the film you’re the patient, being wheeled into the operating theatre for the surgery. Then, you join the medical team from the eyes of the surgeon. A virtual screen in the operating theatre shows details of the invasive procedure. It’s also possible to look around the entire room.
Each stage of the procedure is narrated by a consultant neurosurgeon.
“For us, recording the entire procedure in VR enables us to start the process of recreating the surgery in a VR simulation, one where trainee surgeons can practice the key stages of the procedure in a safe virtual operating room, and actually feel in their hands the textures of all of the different tissue types using our FeelReal VR solution,” said Chris Scattergood co founder of Fundamental VR, which produced the video.
The video is available on YouTube, but best experienced through a VR headset.
FundamentalVR was pleased to work with the neurosurgical team at The Royal London Hospital to create a world’s first! An immersive experience showcasing the treatment of life-threatening brain aneurysms.
Read the full WIRED article here. http://www.wired.co.uk/article/vr-brain-surgery-nhs-london-watch-video-360
How hospitals could be rebuilt, better than before
A great article from the Economist on the future direction and travel of healthcare provision. The article underlines the potential for improved patient outcomes through the use of systems such as our Fundamental Surgery haptic VR training system which is creating flight simulators for surgery.