14:01 PM

MetroHealth is first in U.S. with next generation of virtual reality technology


Imagine if surgeons could immerse themselves in 3D virtual reality to practice surgery – a sort of “flight simulator” for the operating room. Now imagine if the images the surgeon saw and worked on in that simulation were from the actual patient who needed surgery.

It’s not science fiction.

MetroHealth is the first hospital in the country to use ImmersiveTouch Inc.’s advanced MissionRehearsal® technology to allow surgeons to practice on a specific patient’s case prior to the real surgery, using information from the patient’s CT scan, MRI and other images.

The technology also allows surgeons to sit with patients and show them on a screen exactly what the procedure involves and how it will be performed.

Ben Roitberg, MD, chair of neurosurgery at MetroHealth, has worked with ImmersiveTouch for more than a decade to help develop virtual reality simulations for surgeons. He is responsible for bringing the breakthrough ImmersiveTouch MissionRehearsal® technology to MetroHealth.

“The capability to visualize and carefully plan complex surgeries is essential to improving patient and surgeon interaction,” says Dr. Roitberg. “Integrating virtual reality technology vastly improves our surgeons’ ability to educate patients and their families and deliver optimal patient care.”

The benefits of the new technology go beyond just allowing surgeons to rehearse the procedure beforehand, says Pat Banerjee, PhD, CEO of ImmersiveTouch.

“The introduction of MissionRehearsal® means that any health system with an operating room can improve surgical planning and patient engagement, which can lead to lower cost of care with better outcomes,” says Dr. Banerjee.

MetroHealth is eager to continue developing and refining the technology to further enhance the virtual reality experience for surgeons here and across the nation.