Accredited surgery instruction now available in VR

The medical establishment has embraced VR training as a cost-effective, immersive alternative to classroom time.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

Surgeons can now attend a continuing education course in virtual reality. A collaboration between Cedars-Sinai and surgical streaming media platform GIBLIB, the accredited course sharpens surgeons' skills in GI surgery using a simulated operating theater.

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The use of VR training has been growing the medical profession, which has long struggled to find economical and ethical ways to prepare students for the operating theater. As VR seeks to find its footing in an increasingly skeptical market, healthcare has been a beacon of enterprise adoption.

The GIBLIB training module employs 4K, 360-degree views of virtual operating theaters. Users can toggle between views of surgeons and support personnel, as well as external and laparoscopic feeds.

"We are excited to bring Cedars-Sinai medicine virtually to any doctor at any medical facility," said Harry Sax, MD, executive vice chair of the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery. "With this technology, other medical professionals can learn our advanced techniques and procedures and ultimately, deliver excellent care to patients across the country."


The surgeries are even narrated by experts in the field, who introduce students to the latest in robotic and laparoscopic surgical techniques.

For those not in the medical industry, it's a tantalizing taste of the benefits of VR education. Those of you who currently prefer to YouTube how-to videos rather than call a plumber or mechanic can appreciate the advantage of being able to participate in virtual simulation modules that allow you to refine skills before plying them in real life.

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"Virtual reality allows viewers to be fully immersed in the operating room without having to travel across the world for specialized training," said Miguel Burch, MD, chief of Minimally Invasive and GI Surgery at Cedars-Sinai. "This efficient, innovative technology provides an online, backstage pass for trainees anywhere."

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