When most people think of virtual reality, they tend to think of the technology in terms of gaming. However, there are many uses for VR that are not based on entertainment, but instead on education. One area of education that is being enhanced by virtual reality is the medical field. VR and AR can be used to replicate real-world experiences without the cost of the procedure. Marion Surgical is doing just that with surgical education.
There are several steps in a surgeon's life that can be enhanced using Marion Surgical's technology. The first is in the early training process. Traditionally, surgical skill is learned through pig labs, but that has issues, such as cost, as well as kosher concerns. Because the VR technology can replicate the process entirely, without the need for the pig, it can be used by anyone for less money. The room is replicated by the headset, while the haptic feedback is provided through robotics. The surgical instruments, however, are real.
The technology can also be used to do training on a particular surgery for a particular patient. Using CT scans, the system can replicate a patient in great detail, allowing for a surgeon to perform a procedure on a patient before bringing them into the operating room. This means that many possible problems can be discovered while in virtual reality, rather than during actual surgery. The simulation gives doctors more than once chance to mitigate these risks without the risk of harming or killing the patient. It may not be a foolproof solution, as unknowns can always happen, but it can certainly be of huge benefit in most cases.
The technology is already being used for training exercises and an exciting experiment is being conducted with two real patients. To find out more about the platform, check out the company's website.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.