Surgical training via video game?
7/21/2023 Digitalisation News

Surgical training via video game?

Brainlab, a digital medical technology provider, announced that it will collaborate with the AO Foundation, a medical foundation based in Switzerland, to develop initiatives for the future of medical education and training. Together with Brainlab subsidiary Level Ex, they want to work on establishing extended reality technologies for best practices in education and training.

Surgeons working in the operating room
In its global training courses, the AO Foundation will use Brainlab technologies, including the Mixed Reality Viewer, for oral and maxillofacial (OMF), spine, and trauma education. The Mixed Reality Viewer provides physicians with an immersive experience through the 3D visualisation of medical data, allowing them to pre-plan complex surgeries in a safe environment using Brainlab Elements planning software and interact with 3D patient models during case discussions.

The two companies are working together with Brainlab-subsidiary Level Ex to use video game technology to train new skills and techniques. Clinical guidelines from the foundation are being implemented photorealistically on physics-based models through game mechanics by the subsidiary. A new video game for spine surgery training is also being developed, focusing on teaching specific skills while incorporating the current state of game science.

The foundation will work with Brainlab on its recommended surgical workflow for navigated and robotic-assisted spine surgery. The focus will be on training surgeons with the goal of achieving the best possible accuracy in every surgical step of the spine procedure to further improve treatment success for patients. 

Quality and precision as important criteria for success

Critical factors for the success of the treatment are high-quality imaging and precise pre-planning, which will be supported by AI-driven anatomical segmentation and patient registration. In addition, the workflow will focus on navigated instrumentation, which aims to minimise pressure on the spine during surgery to maintain overall system accuracy. This will also address the specific challenges of the cervical spine. The foundation plans to introduce this workflow and associated technology to activities within the AO Education Institute and its Technical Commission.
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