Virtual Reality

How Medical Realities’ VR-Based Platform Is Changing How Surgeons Learn

Virtual reality is one of the most exciting emerging technologies, especially because of its many benefits in the healthcare space. From helping patients who spend a lot of time in hospital escape their current reality to providing a drug-free alternative to pain management, there are many patient-centric applications of VR.

But did you know VR can also be used to train medical students and future surgeons? A surgeon may be under pressure to master new skills, and there is always a learning curve. Training that gives a surgeon the most realistic view of the operation helps to accelerate mastery and reduce patient risks.

While at HIMSS this year, I spoke with Steve Dann, cofounder and chairman of Medical Realities, about how the VR-based surgical training platform is changing the way surgeons learn. Video content has been a core part of surgeon training for years, but VR is a more effective medium because of its ability to be more immersive and interactive than students watching a video on a standard television in a classroom.

“We actually did the world’s first livestreamed 360-degree operation, which was seen by 55,000 people around the world in 142 different countries,” Dann said. “Since then, it’s been downloaded more than 300,000 times.”

Medical Realities can create a dynamic operating “theater,” with multiple camera feeds — including laparoscopic and 3D close-ups.

“The future of surgical training is going to be what we call ‘simulation,'” Dann added. “[This is] where surgeons can actually do operations on simulated patients in virtual reality. But we’re [also] going to be able to throw curveballs in there, because when they’re doing an operation and something goes wrong, we want [doctors] to experience that, just like simulation training for pilots.”

This means if an issue arises during surgery, such as a blood pressure spike, the surgeons have already gone through this situation in a simulation and know how to react, rather than the actual surgery being the first time they’re experiencing a hiccup.

Learn more about the innovative solutions leveraging Samsung mobile technology that are changing healthcare as we know it.

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Natalie Zfat

Natalie Zfat is a social media entrepreneur and Forbes Contributor who has partnered with some of the most iconic brands in the world, including Rolling Stone, Food Network, American Express and Levi’s. Curating original content and videos, Zfat gains millions of impressions for the brands she advocates for. When she's not engaging with her half a million followers, Zfat loves sharing her entrepreneurial thought leadership at conferences and universities, including Carnegie Mellon, NYU Stern School of Business, The Harvard Club of New York and Internet of Things World. Follow Natalie on Twitter: @NatalieZfat

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