3D Systems Announces the Release of Its Latest 3D Virtual Reality Training Module: The Simbionix SPINE Mentor

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Three years ago, 3D Systems, a leader in 3D printed healthcare solutions, joined the world of virtual reality when it acquired Simbionix, a 3D VR surgical simulation and training company, and it only took a couple of months after the acquisition for 3D Systems to announce a new Simbionix simulation module. Over the past two years, the company has continued to add new VR simulation modules, like the Simbionix ARTHRO Mentor arthroscopic training simulator, and 3D Systems formed a partnership with CHEST last year to develop a standardized bronchoscopy curriculum with its Simbionix BRONCH Mentor.

3D Systems is committed to delivering top quality innovations in the medical field, from solid-organ scaffolds to 3D printed medical models, and today, it announced a new addition to its comprehensive line of medical simulators, with the release of the Simbionix SPINE Mentor. The hands-on simulated training and practice tool is designed for anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, pain management surgeons, and orthopedic surgeons to train for minimally invasive spine surgeries and procedures.

Simbionix SPINE Mentor combines a 3D printed spine, medical instruments, and virtually simulated images to create a hybrid platform that will add spinal surgery training to the company’s portfolio. It is far more accurate and realistic than training with cadavers, and was designed to practice with multiple spinal procedures, like the placement of wires and catheters and lumbar puncture; it also helps surgeons boost their confidence before a difficult procedure or surgery.

The platform comes with:

  • a 3D printed spine, which can be used for accurate palpation
  • a computer and monitor
  • foot pedal and virtual C-arm, with controllers, which can be manipulated during practice procedures
  • percutaneous leads
  • two needles, one syringe, and a loss of resistance sensor upon entering epidural space
  • realistic puncture pad

This pad has different anatomical layers, like the Ligamentum Flavum, so that users can painlessly practice needle penetration. The Simbionix SPINE Mentor allows for tissue response, and simulates real-time fluoroscopic image displays for the whole spine, so users won’t have to practice using real fluoroscopy. The VR training module also features dynamic haptics to simulate anatomic obstacles, adding a real touch of realism to training procedures.

The human body is extremely intricate and complicated – one wrong move during a surgical procedure could have potentially devastating consequences for a patient, and could end a doctor’s career. That’s why these types of VR simulators are so important. But these VR simulators from 3D Systems can be used to save animal lives as well.

Kevin McAlea, Executive Vice President, General Manager, Metals and Healthcare, 3D Systems, explained, “As the demand for simulators grows due to the reluctance of medical institutions to use animals in training, 3D Systems continues to invest in simulator development to satisfy the needs of this expanding market. Our commitment to patient safety and our contribution to spinal surgery doesn’t stop with training. In the operating room, our unique Direct Metal Printing (DMP) technology delivers precise spinal implants.”

The Simbionix SPINE Mentor also provides an evaluation report at the end of a training session, with metrics on the user’s performance. The new VR training module will be formally introduced and showcased later this week at the 2017 Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine (SESAM) Annual Meeting in Paris. You can visit 3D Systems’ booth, #EX22, to get a full procedural simulation of Spinal Cord Simulation (SCS), realistic leads manipulation, and the Loss of Resistance (LOR) technique. Discuss in the 3D Systems forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source/Images: 3D Systems]

 

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