Osso VR is expanding into the European market after Newcastle Hospital’s Simulation Centre has begun using its technology to prepare surgeons for difficult procedures.

The European healthcare market is facing growing challenges training new surgeons. According to a report from the Royal College of Surgeons, surgical trainees were focused more on service tasks, such as administrative work, instead of participating in patient care. Additionally, changing dynamics within training have resulted in less hands-on experiences moving them to later in the training process. Due to these challenges and the rapid availability of new technology, even practiced surgeons are finding it difficult to keep up.

“Newcastle Hospital has the widest adoption of robotic and minimally invasive surgery in the U.K.,” said Naeem Soomro, director of robotic surgery at Newcastle Hospital. “At Newcastle Surgical Training Centre, we deliver around 300 surgical courses each year and believe that VR/AR along with realistic simulation will become a significant component of surgical training in the future and are very pleased to partner with Osso VR.”

Osso VR has seen success across the U.S. in residency programs looking to increase access to hands-on training and assessment opportunities for surgical trainees. The company has also attracted orthopedic medical device companies to use the platform to improve training, encourage safe use, and increase adoption of their devices. In scientifically validating the platform, preliminary study results have shown the Osso VR-trained group performed 230 percent better than the control group, trained traditionally, as measured by the Global Rating Scale.

“Surgical skill is directly correlated with patient outcomes, yet we don’t currently measure the proficiency of our surgical care providers. Ideally we can identify improvement areas and then intervene with targeted simulation in order to provide higher quality and standardized care around the globe,” said Justin Barad, MD and CEO/co-founder of Osso VR. “Immersive technologies like VR have the proven ability to address the challenges presented by the current the accelerating pace of innovation. We are thrilled to be working globally with more hospitals and device companies that understand that the biggest problem we’re facing today is not what we are doing for our patients, but how we are doing it.”

“We see VR as an integral cog in the development and maintenance of surgical skills acquisition in health care education,” said Paul Fearon, training programme director in orthopaedics at Newcastle Hospital. “It interfaces with high fidelity simulation, allowing team-based learning with the ultimate goal of improving patient safety.”

Osso VR augments the apprenticeship training model the surgical education system has relied on for over a century, and addresses the shortcomings presented by traditional one-to-two day workshops for medical device companies. One way Osso VR does this is by objectively allowing multiple surgeons to train together in one VR space independent of their physical location. Collaborative training affords improved learning and assessment opportunities for surgeons and the surgical team, as well as gives medical device companies more scalable way to offer workshops and training sessions. 

Osso VR also allows for surgical proficiency to finally be easily and objectively measured. Currently, assessment of surgical performance is rarely performed and, when it is, is quite subjective. Analytics and data provided on each surgeon allows users to identify improvement opportunities and see how they are doing in relation to their peers.