There are 5 billion people around the world who do not have access to safe surgical services. Surgical disease causes more deaths worldwide than HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria combined. Using digital technology may enable surgeons to deliver safe surgical care to a significantly wider population.

Medical training and education are undergoing a sea change with new technologies paving the way for a more hands-on and immersive experience.

The use of VR minimizes surgical errors and gives a clearer visualisation of outcomes. Use cases of VR in surgery include:

  • Education and training
  • Surgical planning
  • Image guidance
  • Telesurgery

We recently asked a number of our expert advisors to share their perspectives on some of the emerging technologies operating in the space.

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These experts evaluated four emerging technologies operating in the space.

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Key Takeaways

Below are the key take aways from the responses these experts gave when evaluating these solutions.

  1. The closer we can get to simulating a live surgery without endangering patients lives, the better. These solutions all attempt to accomplish this goal.
  2. There is consensus that some of these solutions are really just 3D videos, not VR (interesting if you want to watch a surgery, but not so interesting if you want to interact or feel immersed in the experience). Solutions that are essentially creating 3D videos or animated simulations might not be worth the expense.
  3. The higher the fidelity of the simulation (e.g. 3D interactions/deformations, haptic feedback, appropriate feel, incorporation of complications, etc.), the further up the learning curve you can go. Some of the lower fidelity solutions in this group do not have the right hand position to create perceptuo-motor mental models, no haptics, no incorrect actions can be taken and therefore no complications can be learned from.

We would love to hear your thoughts on these key takeaways as well as other questions you would want to ask these experts in the future.