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MetroHealth using virtual reality to practice neurosurgery

Monica Robins | September 13, 2017 | WKYC

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The MetroHealth System and ImmersiveTouch, Inc. (ITI) unveiled a new technology for surgeons to practice complex operations in a 3-D virtual reality environment. MissionRehearsal® enables surgeons to practice on a specific patient’s case prior to the real surgery, using information from the patient’s CT scan, MRI and angiograms.

Images are uploaded and the patient’s anatomy is reconstructed in a 3-D model. The surgeon can then create a detailed plan in virtual surgical reality. MetroHealth is the first hospital in the country to install this breakthrough technology.

Ben Roitberg, MD, chair of neurosurgery at MetroHealth, has worked with ImmersiveTouch since 2007 to help develop virtual reality simulations for the next generation of surgeons. Academic institutions around the country have implemented the technology, and thousands of trainees around the world have used it to train using a library of generic cases.

Dr. Roitberg brought the breakthrough MissionRehearsal® technology, focusing on specific patients’ brains, to MetroHealth. MetroHealth will continue to develop and refine the technology to further enhance the virtual reality experience for surgeons and use it to train future doctors.

Surgeons can discuss procedures with patients using the virtual reality headset, an iPad or desktop monitor, showing them the surgical path and additional educational material.

Immersive Touch is the first company in the nation to integrate surgical training, planning and patient education in a virtual environment with haptic technology which allows your hand to feel the resistance of a surgery and be able to tell the difference between skin, muscle, and bone.

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