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 is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.
The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.
Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.
The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.