Immersive medical training company FundamentalVR has partnered with haptic technology developer HaptX to demonstrate how surgeons can become even more hands-on during complicated procedures.
The Fundamental Surgery platform, launched in August 2018, combines virtual reality (VR) with haptics to create a scalable ‘flight simulator’ experience for trainee and qualified surgeons.
Fundamental Surgery is designed to be equipment-agnostic, making it compatible with any laptop, VR headset or haptic device, including the HaptX Gloves.
When combined with HaptX Gloves and a 3DS Haptic arm, trainee and qualified surgeons can experience and navigate the same visuals, sounds and feelings they would during a real surgical procedures.
The platform also boasts the Surgical Haptic Intelligence Engine, which is calibrated to mimic real life sensations of numerous medical tools and tissue variants within a submillimeter accuracy of resistance.
Richard Vincent, chief executive officer of London-based FundamentalVR, said of the technology partnership: “When it comes to surgical training simulations, a sense of touch is a game changer, but has traditionally only been possible with immobile equipment costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“The Fundamental Surgery platform delivers highly sophisticated tactile feedback at a fraction of the cost through a software approach that can work with a range of haptic devices. Our platform currently works with haptic arms, but is designed to evolve as hardware innovations allow new products such as HaptX Gloves to come to market.”
“We are proud to work with industry leaders such as HaptX and are excited to demonstrate how HaptX Gloves integrated into our Surgical Haptics Intelligence Engine takes the sensation of surgery to an exciting new and natural level.”
HaptX Gloves house 130 tactile actuators in each glove, which press the user’s skin, replicating the sensation of touching a physical object. A force feedback exoskeleton applies up to four pounds of force per finger, enhancing perception of shape and rigidity. Motion capture technology tracks the user’s hand movements with sub-millimeter precision.
In the first-of-its-kind demonstration at the the annual general meeting of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons this week, the technology integration of HaptX and FundamentalVR highlighted how detailed the interaction was with a patient during hip replacement surgery.
Users were able to feel the presence of bony growth around the rim of hip socket in addition to identifying a key ligament that helps orientate a surgeon in the next few critical steps.
HaptX teamed up with Nissan earlier this month to assist the vehicle design process at the Japanese car manufacturer
“The ability to touch and interact naturally with virtual environments is transforming the way industries train workers and bring products to market,” explained Jake Rubin, founder and chief executive officer of HaptX “The healthcare industry is at the forefront of this shift, and it’s set to be transformed by advancements in VR and haptics.”
“We are delighted to be working with Fundamental Surgery as our first medical partner to demonstrate how HaptX Gloves can make surgical simulations more immersive and effective.”