The MetroHealth System Uses Virtual Reality to Practice Brain Surgery
First hospital in the nation to implement new technology focusing on specific patients
The MetroHealth System and ImmersiveTouch, Inc. (ITI) have 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.
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. “The capability to visualize and carefully plan complex surgeries is essential to improving patient and surgeon interaction,” said Dr. Roitberg. “Integrating virtual reality technology vastly improves our surgeons’ ability to educate patients and their families and deliver optimal patient care.”
“We are the first company in the nation to integrate surgical training, planning and patient education in a virtual environment with haptic technology. This allows your hand to feel the resistance of a surgery and be able to tell the difference between skin, muscle, and bone,” said Pat Banerjee, PhD, CEO of ImmersiveTouch. “We have created a scalable platform for academic and community hospitals with the flexibility surgeons and patients need. The introduction of MissionRehearsal® means that any health system with an operating room can improve surgical planning and patient education, which can lead to lower cost of care with better outcomes.”
For more information, visit www.immersivetouch.com.
The MetroHealth System, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.
MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.