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.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth is leading the way to a healthier you and a healthier community through service, teaching, discovery, and teamwork. Cuyahoga County’s public, safety-net hospital system, MetroHealth meets people where they are, providing care through four hospitals, four emergency departments, and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites. Each day, our 8,000 employees focus on providing our community with equitable health care–through patient-focused research, access to care, and support services–that seeks to eradicate health disparities rooted in systematic barriers. For more information, visit metrohealth.org.