Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, VirtaMed could not be held back from providing medical training with new training solutions. Covid-19 has brought a number of limitations: Scientific conferences and training courses were cancelled, surgeries have been very limited, so there were hardly any opportunities to practice complex surgical procedures without risks.
VirtaMed took the opportunity to provide expert hands-on surgical training for Swiss residents. Equipped with the latest mixed reality simulators, Switzerland's first mobile surgical simulation lab toured for three months, delivering risk-free training to the doors of University Hospitals.
Together, we made an impact!
The mobile surgical simulation lab covered over 2000 kilometers across Switzerland and visited 16 Swiss University Hospitals, starting in St. Gallen, continuing to Lucerne, Berne, Geneva, and ending in Lausanne.
Residents received training in different medical specialties, including orthopedics, ob/gyn, and general surgery. The residents could improve their performance in the most realistic and motivational simulation environment possible, throughout the training they were instructed and led by experts.
One highlight of the tour was introducing the new LaparoS™ laparoscopy simulator. Developed over several years, the simulator benefited from wide-reaching firsthand feedback from the doctors across Switzerland. This laparoscopic simulator uniquely offers key preparation steps for laparoscopic procedures, including realistic patient positioning, free trocar placement and the ability for several surgeons to simultaneously operate on the same (virtual) patient.
The LaparoS™ new training concept provides condensed training, focused on short sequences teaching transferable key skills, including instrument triangulation and bimanual coordination, anatomy identification, performing different dissection techniques, safe clipping and cutting, and complication handling.
With this wonderful initiative we had the chance to offer training everywhere in Switzerland. For me it was an energizing "back to the roots!" I started my simulation journey more than 15 years ago in the laparoscopic training center in Zurich. With LaparoS™ VirtaMed now offers also laparoscopy training and the difference between now and then is significant. I am really proud that we could so positively contribute to surgical training during this crisis."
- Dr. Martina Vitz, Head of Training & Education at VirtaMed
Residents shared their impressions and experience from the training with the simulators. From the respondents 60% had already had experience with virtual reality simulation. 30% of the residents had never used a laparoscope in the operating room before. The simulator gave these residents the opportunity to gain their first experience with a laparoscope and laparoscopic instruments.
100% of the residents consider simulation training to be useful, and 80% wish for simulation training to be a mandatory part of surgical curricula, with an average of 40 hours of mandatory simulation training to be included.
Over 300 residents were trained on VirtaMed`s simulators during the tour, and the VirtaMed team extends their thanks to all the residents, doctors, and professors who helped to make this possible!
Building on the success of VirtaMed`s Swiss training tour, the mobile surgical simulation lab crosses the borders into France and will provide medical training with the help of the French Association of Surgery (AFC), while simultaneously another mobile simulation lab will begin to tour Germany.