How digital actuality is popping surgical coaching upside-down


The sphere of orthopedics is extremely advanced and frequently evolving, significantly because the quick and livid tempo of latest surgical units and applied sciences accelerates.


The significance of extremely efficient, accessible instruments and assets, along with publicity to hands-on surgical coaching, is crucial.

“Amid the digital acceleration of healthcare transformation, we are able to now not depend on the age-old mantra, ‘See one, do one, train one,’ to coach the subsequent technology of surgeons,” stated Dr. Cory Calendine, chief of orthopedic surgical procedure at Williamson Medical Heart and orthopedic surgeon and founding father of the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee.

“Reasonably, we must always implore them to ‘Do as many as potential,'” he continued. “In actual fact, the extra observe a resident or attending surgeon can conduct, the more adept they are going to turn into.”

With the aggressive tempo of latest units, applied sciences and methods, it turns into ever extra vital to trace and measure efficiency metrics. These shortfalls in proficiency can include actual penalties for sufferers, surgeons and their healthcare establishments.

“Coaching ought to by no means cease for a surgeon, and we’d like higher strategies,” Calendine stated. “Whereas fellowship packages stay an choice for extra coaching, quite a few research spotlight a chance to develop a greater system of coaching.

“Additional, current modifications by the ACGME, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, have imposed restricted scrub hours, severely limiting resident and fellow publicity to sufferers, mentors and procedures,” he continued.

The correlation between surgical quantity and efficiency to affected person outcomes is plain. A current research by the College of Michigan discovered that 30% of surgeons couldn’t function independently after residency.

“A 2019 research carried out by UCLA’s David Geffen College of Drugs discovered that the surgical efficiency utilizing Osso VR’s platform improved surgical efficiency by 230%.”

Dr. Cory Calendine, Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee

“Prevention of surgical errors requires the eye of all personnel concerned within the affected person’s care, together with the establishments tasked with growing a vibrant studying surroundings for resident schooling, coaching and analysis,” Calendine famous.


Calendine was launched to vendor Osso’s digital actuality expertise by way of its partnership with Stryker. He instantly was drawn to the expertise.

“Past the cool issue, I used to be actually bowled over by what a strong kind of coaching VR is,” he recalled. “Not solely can I train residents the steps, however they will observe on their very own, as many occasions as they need – with none danger to sufferers.

“Additional, the platform can measure and rating efficiency and proficiency at any degree of coaching, which is extremely worthwhile as a result of it permits myself and different college members to objectively outline how properly we’re elevating the subsequent technology of surgeons,” he continued.

Historically, surgical coaching, whether or not one is a resident or fellow studying the ropes or are an skilled surgeon coaching on a brand new gadget, requires immense logistical planning after which touring to a one- or two-day workshop.

“For a lot of surgeons, it may be six to eight months earlier than you make the most of that one-time coaching to carry out that process, gadget or method on a affected person,” Calendine defined. “Surgical procedure is excessive stakes, and VR has the extraordinary capability to ship the most recent and best in surgical innovation to any seasoned or aspiring surgeon with a headset, anyplace on the earth.

“Headsets have come down tremendously in value, so should you calculate the airfare, lodge and cargo of units or {hardware}, VR is an economical means to offer surgeons of all ability ranges probably the most progressive, up-to-date coaching at scale,” he added.


Calendine has spent greater than eight years practising and coaching in robotics. And historically, that schooling was carried out in individual on categoric specimens. Over time, he traveled everywhere in the world, coaching a wide range of surgeons, from residents and fellows to attending and personal observe, all on a cadaver from floor zero.

“Typical coaching eventualities contain a surgeon touring to a one-to-two day coaching workshop,” Calendine defined. “In some conditions, surgeons are requested to finish a one- or two-day workshop for a brand new surgical gadget, after which months later be anticipated to execute that process confidently.

“Offsite coaching will not be solely expensive and time-consuming however lacks alternative for the surgeon to proceed to observe,” he added. “It may very well be six months earlier than the surgeon truly makes use of that gadget throughout a process.”

Business numbers estimate {that a} surgeon must carry out no less than 75 circumstances to attain optimum proficiency, he stated. Additional complicating the difficulty is the dearth of any goal evaluation software for surgical proficiency, so a surgeon and their workforce by no means actually know when they’re prepared, he added.

“With the correct VR platform, headset and controllers, residents can be taught and observe particular procedures outdoors of the working room, even within the consolation of their very own properties,” he famous. “These lifelike simulations will be reset and repeated with out consequence, and dramatically enhance procedural competence and confidence, immediately translating to raised scientific outcomes and general affected person care.

“VR’s degree of genuineness provides customers a very genuine expertise that you just see and really feel instantly,” he continued. “It is wildly spectacular.”


A number of research have proven that VR will not be solely equitable to bodily simulation, but in addition superior to conventional strategies of medical schooling, Calendine stated.

“A 2019 research carried out by UCLA’s David Geffen College of Drugs discovered that the surgical efficiency utilizing Osso VR’s platform improved surgical efficiency by 230%,” he famous.

“Subsequent findings by researchers on the College of Illinois School of Drugs at Chicago – which carried out a randomized, blinded validation research utilizing the Osso VR platform – discovered that use of digital actuality for surgical coaching considerably elevated procedural accuracy and completion price, which greater than tripled the chances of finishing a process efficiently and demonstrated a 300% enchancment in accuracy when residents educated within the Osso VR module.”

This and different research show the plain benefit VR has to considerably enhance surgical efficiency and outcomes throughout the board, he added.


“My imaginative and prescient for VR is that we combine it into all tutorial and personal observe coaching packages,” Calendine acknowledged. “Digital actuality goes to play a serious function in medical schooling transferring ahead, and I might extremely advise early integration of VR techniques into resident and supplier coaching packages.

“Simply as EHRs – for higher or worse – have revolutionized the paper chart, digital actuality will turn into a worthwhile, standardized and required software in medical schooling and coaching,” he stated. “The whole lot from integrating VR into residency program curriculums to be taught, repeat and observe surgical proficiency, to introducing new methods and devices throughout digital conferences.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
E-mail the author:
Healthcare IT Information is a HIMSS Media publication.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here