FundamentalVR expands into ophthalmology

The company can now create immersive, data-driven medical educational simulations for ophthalmology as well as orthopedic device and pharmaceutical brands.

FundamentalSurgery at home

FundamentalVR is expanding its surgical specialty capabilities with the addition of ophthalmology. Powered by the company’s patented HapticVR technology architecture that mimics the physical cues of surgical actions, medical tools, and tissue variations, FundamentalVR can now create immersive, data-driven medical educational simulations for ophthalmology as well as orthopedic device and pharmaceutical brands.

Why does it matter?

Whereas traditional ophthalmology teaching methods include classroom lectures, instructional videos, medical meetings, operating room (OR) observations, and tissue-based wet lab training — FundamentalVR’s immersive simulations offer remote, socially distant learning, while accelerating skills transfers, thanks to the ability to collect and objectively measure performance data previously unattainable.

An established player in surgical education, FundamentalVR simulations are delivered through its Fundamental Surgery platform that allows users to experience the same sights, sounds, and feelings they would in a real OR. Combining HapticVR technology with high fidelity graphics, proven accredited educational strategies, and analytics of previously unmeasurable data points – Fundamental Surgery allows users to acquire both the technical knowledge and the muscle memory essential in developing surgical skills.

Every user interaction from the surgical gaze, respect for tissue, and movement efficiency is measured and recorded to provide a level of analysis and measurement. In addition to increasing knowledge transfer, this detailed, unique data insight enables life science businesses to drive consistency and compliance for their medical devices and procedures.

The expert knowledge has been used to create tailored solutions for Life Sciences companies and a cataract surgical simulator for the global eye care NGO Orbis International. The highly regarded organization works to end avoidable blindness by training eye care teams in low and middle-income countries so they can save and restore vision in their communities. Orbis is deploying FundamentalVR’s educational simulation for cataract surgery in select residency training programs and prospective digital training hubs to evaluate the impact on residents’ surgical skills and obtain user feedback to inform further software developments.

Simulations, featuring the interactions with human tissue essential for learning, can be created to cover various ophthalmology procedures. These interactions include incisions, trocar placement, scleral tissue manipulation, lens manipulation, lens implant insertion, posterior chamber manipulations, bimanual manipulation of the eyeball, and subretinal injections.

The Fundamental Surgery platform offers a more scalable, affordable, and flexible training solution to existing VR solutions that require dedicated labs, specialized equipment and large investment. Already in use by medical device manufacturers and teaching centers of excellence across the globe, it is equipment agnostic able to work with a range of off-the-shelf equipment, such as Oculus Quest and HTC Focus Plus headsets, and can be used remotely by an unlimited number of simultaneous users.

On the record

“Industry analysts now estimate adoption curves for immersive technologies have accelerated by around three years as COVID-19 permanently changes traditional teaching methods,” said Richard Vincent, co-founder and CEO of FundamentalVR. “With the addition of ophthalmology capacities, we are meeting this increased demand with proven technology that allows medical device companies and medical educators to more effectively train the next generation of surgeons and bringing innovative new procedures and equipment to market permanently.”

The context

The market for VR-related healthcare solutions have been steadily growing in recent years, and has been given an extra boost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, it was no longer considered something extra students and healthcare professionals could use – but an essential tool to keep educating future surgeons.

Beyond education, VR — and more broadly XR (extended reality) — has found other use cases and we discuss all of those various use cases in our report XR in Healthcare. You might want to check it out.