Portable Simulator Helps Surgeons Improve Robotic Skills

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 Apr 2017
A personal simulator aids surgeons learn and practice foundational elements needed during all stages of surgical robotics.

The Mimic Technologies FlexVR simulator is designed for surgeons in all stages of their robotics career who need to learn new skill sets, such as camera control, instrument manipulation, energy application, suturing, and other foundational elements of surgical robotics. The robotic surgery simulator, designed with mobility, flexibility, and storability in mind, can also be used to integrate augmented reality (AR) procedural training in three-dimensional (3D) simulations.

Image: The FlexVR portable robotic surgery simulator (Photo courtesy of Mimic Technologies).
Image: The FlexVR portable robotic surgery simulator (Photo courtesy of Mimic Technologies).

The system can guide and track users throughout their training progression, from 4th-year medical students choosing their path to surgical residents wishing to hone their skills. The simulator can also use data captured during the training sessions in the MScore curricula management system in order to show both innate ability and skills mastery, which can be accessed directly on the system itself or in the cloud via the MScore Portal, if the system has been connected to the internet.

The FlexVR supports Mimic’s Maestro AR procedural curricula, developed by leading surgeons to teach common robotic procedures such as prostatectomy, hysterectomy, partial nephrectomy, and hernia repair. Furthermore, as FlexVR uses the same MSim psychomotor skills software found on the Intuitive Surgical dV-Trainer and da Vinci Skills Simulator, the concepts learned on the system can be seamlessly transferred to the robotic surgical console and the operating room.

“We believe that accessible training is crucial for advancing surgical skills, and where better to train than in the privacy of your own home,” said Jeff Berkley, CEO and founder of Mimic Technologies. “FlexVR is personal, portable, storable, and flexible, which will expand the access of robotic training to a larger audience.”

Robotics technology is making its way into practically every major surgical discipline, with the global demand particularly high for prostatectomy and hysterectomy surgeries, as they are believed to offer greater safety, accuracy, and precision, leading to better clinical outcomes for the surgeon, patient, and hospital management. Advanced imaging techniques, higher degrees of freedom, interactive interfaces, haptics feedback, and remote operation are being continuously developed to further strengthen the capabilities of surgeons.

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