By: 26 December 2019
Fundamental Surgery expands educational surgical simulation platform with new Facetectomy procedure and Fundamental Surgery Score

Recently, FundamentalVR, pioneers of immersive HapticVR™ training technology, which combines virtual reality (VR) with haptics (sense of touch), announced its educational platform, Fundamental Surgery, has extended its simulation offering with a new Facetectomy procedure. Additionally, the platform is rolling out the Fundamental Surgery Score, aimed at providing users and their mentors with even more reporting and assessment around their individual surgical performances.

Orthopaedic simulation offering extended with Facetectomy procedure

With the mission to democratise surgical simulations and make safe training platforms easily accessible to every surgeon in the world, FundamentalVR created Fundamental Surgery to provide surgeons with similar visuals, feelings and scenarios expected during surgery to allow them to practice and hone their skills anywhere, at any time. The new Facetectomy procedure joins a range of additional orthopaedic and spine simulations and gives users the opportunity to repeatedly train in the removal of the facet joint using a bone nibbler and Kerrison Rongeur, along with HapticVR™ technology.

The Facetectomy simulation lets trainees and surgeons practice the surgical procedure through an immersive, self-directed experience where they can remove a volume of bone material piece-by-piece, anywhere on the joint. Through the platform’s voxel technology, users can make decisions and execute every step of their desired approach and anatomical involvement. In relevant areas of the procedure, users can make realistic and meaningful choices around tool use, with the potential to make mistakes giving the opportunity to learn correct methods through practice.

The procedure also incorporates Fundamental Surgery’s new eye-tracking capability, which is available through the HTC Vive Pro Eye headset.

Introducing the Fundamental Surgery Score

The Facetectomy procedure is the first simulation on the platform to include the new Fundamental Surgery Score. With the new scoring system, users are assessed on their ability to meet surgical objectives throughout the procedure. These scores are combined to give an overall percentage score for their session. This is augmented with an Independent Practice Grade between A and D, indicating the amount of help and assistance the user needed to reach their score.

Created in-hand with medical experts in their respected fields, the Fundamental Surgery Score delivers a new level of simulation engagement and facilitates effective independent learning by providing users and their mentors with continuous feedback and performance data on each surgical step.

The score aligns with US and European resident and fellow reporting mechanisms and is a combination of a user’s skillset, knowledge of each assessment as well as the level of independence they are able to demonstrate. Fundamental Surgery Scores are displayed on the results screen at the end of each simulation and are also available on the online data dashboard. All users can then view the development of skills and cognitive learning over time through the online portal.

“Our team is dedicated to providing every surgeon and trainee in the world with safe and accessible surgical simulations that they can use to train and improve their skills throughout their careers,” said Richard Vincent, founder and CEO of FundamentalVR. “The new addition of the Facetectomy simulation along with the Fundamental Surgery Score continues this effort by giving our users full free decisioning over both tool choice and operative approach”

Named as one of the best inventions of 2018 by Time magazine and 2019 winners of the SXSW Innovation Award for VR/AR & MR, the Fundamental Surgery platform was launched in August 2018. It is the only VR simulator to be fully accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons. It combines virtual reality (VR) with cutting-edge haptics to create a scalable ‘flight simulator’ experience for trainee and qualified surgeons, allowing them to experience and navigate the same visuals, sounds and feelings they would during a real surgical procedure.

What sets Fundamental Surgery apart from other solutions is that it is designed to be equipment agnostic, compatible with any VR-enabled PC laptop, VR headset or haptic device enabling it to be delivered at a fraction of the cost. Furthermore, its remote data analytics and data dashboard covering surgical skills and knowledge provide invaluable insight into surgical capability and education progression.

Today, Fundamental Surgery is deployed with a number of medical institutions including Mayo Clinic and UCLA in the US, UCLH in the UK and Sana in Germany, with initial training packages focused on the orthopaedic surgical disciplines. The procedures it currently supports include spinal pedicle screw, total hip arthroplasty (posterior), total hip arthroplasty (anterior) and total knee arthroplasty.

All Fundamental Surgery simulations are accredited by the Royal College of surgeons as an activity that demonstrates sufficient educational value to contribute to individual surgeons’ CPD, for which 6 CPD points can be claimed.