The Johnson & Johnson Institute, a provider of professional education, launched a new global virtual reality (VR) training program for surgeons and nurses at several of its global locations. The program includes three VR training modules for orthopaedic surgery - Total Knee Replacement with Direct Anterior Approach and Hip Fracture Treatment with a Proximal Femoral Nail - to help improve surgical techniques and drive greater patient outcomes.

As the global population continues to age, the number of orthopaedic surgical procedures is expected to rise exponentially, the company says. In the U.S. alone, the volume of primary Total Hip Replacement and primary Total Knee Replacement is projected to grow by 171 percent and up to 189 percent, respectively, by 2030, according to data presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery (AAOS) 2018 Annual Meeting.

All instruments and implants in the VR training modules are designed to simulate real-world experience in an operating room, while anatomy and biomechanics provide accurate scenarios. The modules meet educational needs at every experience level, ranging from basic to advanced and expert. The training also takes into account the fewer training hours that residents typically get, given their heavy workloads and work-hour restrictions.

A study conducted in 2017 with the first Johnson & Johnson VR education module found that 80 percent of 107 interviewed orthopaedic surgeons would like to use VR frequently for training, and 90 percent would recommend VR training to their peers.

"Virtual reality allows our surgeons to train and refine their techniques in a fully immersive environment, creating more valuable training, eliminating travel costs and saving precious time," said Prof. Kristoff Corten, an orthopaedic surgeon in Belgium. "With clinically relevant, real-life scenarios, these modules address an important need - enabling surgeons, nurses and residents to practice at their own pace and as often as they want until they master a certain procedure, all to the benefit of our patients."

The technology is available at J&J Institute sites in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Hamburg, Germany; Beijing, China; Tokyo, Japan; and Raynham, Massachusetts in the U.S. The Institute has deployed 50 VR systems, with the goal of including these experiences in basic courses this summer and expanding to other Institutes around the world.