Alcon introduces VR surgical training technology

Alcon recently introduced its new Alcon Fidelis™ Virtual Reality (VR) Ophthalmic Surgical Simulator, a portable VR tool for cataract surgeons-in-training. This advancement reinforces Alcon’s longstanding commitment to surgeon training and education, as part of the Alcon Experience Academy.

“The VR simulator offers a high-fidelity, virtual operating room environment with haptic feedback to simulate the look and feel of cataract sugery2,” a press release states. “The simulator can be used from any location around the world with the ability to invite others to join virtual instruction and training sessions.”

This latest innovation in surgical training is an important step in increasing access to surgical simulators around the world.

Using surgical stimulators, the eye care industry has already seen benefits of improved performance in the operating room (OR), as seen in a study showing a 38% rate of improvement for surgeons with fewer than 75 independent surgeries performed.1*

Providing cutting-edge options for realistic, remote surgical training can help mitigate some of the time constraints ophthalmologists are facing, as well as provide access to educational tools for those in countries where training resources are limited, the release notes.

“At Alcon, we have a long history of partnering with institutions and providing world-class training to support the development of Eye Care Professionals,” said Rustin Floyd, Global Director and Head, Health Care Professional Training & Education. “Similar to our approach to product innovation, we continually strive to help ophthalmologists deliver optimal patient outcomes through innovation in training and education. By developing and offering these ophthalmic training tools, we are also helping enable greater access to quality eye care in underserved communities.”

The portable Fidelis VR Ophthalmic Surgical Simulator features:

  • A VR headset, two haptic engines and an integrated Centurion® footswitch
  • A realistic virtual OR environment, complete with Alcon equipment
  • The ability to connect with other remote users and instructors within the same virtual OR
  • Real-time feedback and performance tracking over time to enhance technique surgeon

Alcon’s new device will be introduced at the upcoming American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) meeting, to be held April 22-26, 2022, in Washington, DC, and surgeons will be able to experience the new technology firsthand.

Following ASCRS, Alcon will be providing trainings to its Phaco Development (PD) program. This program, “designed to elevate techniques and skillsets of surgeons through training in developing markets to establish sustainable cataract and patient care services in underserved communities,” is a core part of Alcon’s efforts to increase accessible quality eye care globally, the release states.

References
  1. Skou Thomsen A, Bach-Holm D, Kjaerbo H, et al. Operating Room Performance Improves After Proficiency-Based Virtual Reality Cataract Surgery Training. National Institute of Health. 2017 April. Doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.11.015.Epub 2016 Dec 22. PMID: 28017423. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28017423/
  2. Alcon Data on File, 2022.
*n=18 cataract surgeons, p<0.05, Performance improvement based on average OSACSS rating scale of three cataract surgeries without complications before and after Proficiency-based training on VRmagic EyeSi simulator.

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