VR for Training Orthopaedic Surgeons

Virtual reality (VR) in both training and healthcare areas has been seeing a surge in growth as an increasing number of companies and providers adopt the technology. One of those has been the Johnson & Johnson Institute, which recently launched a VR training program to help prepare orthopaedic surgeons and nurses for some common procedures.

The program currently focusses on total knee replacement and hip fracture treatment, with plans to further expand to other surgeries. It is hoped that using VR to practice surgical techniques will help improve clinical outcomes for patients.

Medgadget spoke to David Badri, Virtual Reality and WW Professional Education at Johnson & Johnson about the program and what it could mean for both the VR and healthcare industries.

Asked for an overview of the program, Badri described the procedures currently offered by the training, and added: “All instruments and implants in the VR training modules are designed to simulate real-world experiences in a fully immersive operating room, while anatomy and biomechanics provide an accurate scenario for the user.”

Badri confirmed that all the hardware used is off-the-shelf, designed for the consumer market, which means it is easily portable so doctors and nurses can be trained almost anywhere.

When asked how the VR compared to the same situations in real life, Badri said: “Real instruments and specimen labs are still the gold standard in surgical education. We are not aiming to replace this. Our goal is to cognitively prepare surgeons for their specimen training or surgery, allowing them to go through the procedure in a safe way as often as they want until they are comfortable with the procedure. This also includes some basic psychomotor skills. Interestingly, most surgeons that I’ve led through our VR modules would qualify this type of training as “hands-on”, which is great feedback for us”

The system was developed in partnership with Swiss developer Pixelmolkerei, with whom the Johnson & Johnson Institute have worked before for other 3D and technical projects.

For future coverage on how VR is being used in training and healthcare, keep checking back with VRFocus.