Development of surgical technique is typically acquired through years of observation and practice on patients. The myFace Craniofacial Surgical Simulator, which will be released at the State of the Art Reconstruction and Transplantation Conference in New York City next week, is an example of how the latest in interactive 3D technology can help surgeons understand cognitive tasks and anatomical spatial relationships.
Funded by the myFace charity, the information in the simulator is based on over 40 years of experience teaching surgery by Dr. Joseph McCarthy, the former Chief of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. The myFace vision for the virtual simulator is to “allow thousands of surgical residents, interns, fellows, medical students, as well as experienced surgeons, to go into surgery with more confidence and a deeper medical understanding.”
Until now online learning has been limited to primarily text and illustration. The potential of digital formats to engage, interact and measure user performance has not been fully utilized. The BioDigital Human platform was architected from the ground up to power the next generation of learning tools in medicine and has features especially useful for learning surgery in a safe virtual environment. Users can dynamically move through procedures with real-time interaction; rotate the patient at any angle; see through skin and organs to understand how to manipulate surgical instruments and medical devices typically obscured by anatomy. Studies show previous education formats such as textbooks, surgical video, or even 3D animation were limited to providing passive 2D experiences.
Unlike costly haptic or mannequin based simulators, the software can easily accessed on a global scale and updated with new content. It does not require any expensive or special equipment – it simply runs within a web browser or on a mobile device. The software can be used as many times as needed at minimal additional cost. A robust analytics engine captures data on the user interactions, providing feedback on performance and allowing administrators to make data driven decisions. The fusion of interactive 3D technology with cloud access provides the foundation for a new generation of immersive learning.