VRmagic releases new VR simulator for eye surgery training

Germany-based virtual reality (VR) medical technology firm VRmagic has launched a new iteration of its ophthalmic surgery simulator Eyesi Surgical.

The German firm, working in close cooperation with Swiss company Haag-Streit Diagnostics, has developed a digital microscope head and integrated a new virtual high-resolution stereo microscope in the VR simulator.

For retina surgery training, the platform now also features the simulation of the current generation OCULUS SDI/BIOM 5.

According to VRmagic, looking through the new microscope binocular, which features mechanical and optical systems from Haag-Streit, trainee ophthalmic surgeons obtain a large three-dimensional (3D) field of view and a detail-precise stereo visualisation of the surgery simulation.

The digital binocular now offers a resolution of 1080 x 1080 pixels per eye. The refraction can be corrected individually by means of a diopter scale on the eyepieces. The optical system also now provides a realistic exit pupil, so that trainees need to adjust the pupil distance individually in order to obtain a complete, wide 3D field of vision.

For vitreoretinal surgery training, the new Eyesi platform provides hardware and simulation of the current generation OCULUS SDI/BIOM 5. The non-contact viewing system enables wide-angle observation of the fundus and vitreous body. Like the original, the SDI (stereoscopic diagonal inverter) is activated automatically when the BIOM (binocular indirect ophthalmomicroscope) is swung into the beam path. It is also detected and visualised in the simulation, if the lens accidentally touches the cornea or if the view is blocked.

“Our aim is to provide the best possible training environment in order to enable high immersion and a highly realistic surgery experience.”

Markus Schill, chief executive officer of VRmagic

“With the new platform, Eyesi Surgical now offers a stunning stereo visualization,” said Markus Schill, chief executive officer of VRmagic. “Our aim is to provide the best possible training environment in order to enable high immersion and a highly realistic surgery experience.”

VRmagic’s VR headsets and technology are currently being used in a clinical trial at Roche Holding division Genentech.

According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 150 surgeons have used VR over the past year to simulate a surgical procedure treating wet age-related macular degeneration.

If the device in the clinical trial is approved by the Food and Drug Administration in a few years, Genentech expects to train the more than 2,200 retinal specialists in the US, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that the company said that VR will be a major component of that training in order for them to master the procedure.