Polhemus Provides Hand Motion Tracking Systems for Surgical Simulators

polhemus motion tracking for surgical simulators

How do surgical simulators know your exact hand placement at all times? Brands like SimSurgery work with Motion Tracking Systems like the PATRIOT from Polhemus. If you or your team are building advanced simulators, be sure to learn what Polhemus can do for your innovative project!

Polhemus is proud to provide the enabling technology that powers SEP. SimSurgery uses the Polhemus PATRIOT system in the SEP simulator. Specifically, the SEP system allows surgical students to train and learn surgical skills, such as hand-eye coordination, use of endoscope and surgical instruments, tissue manipulation, and other procedural skills before operating on patients.

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When reviewing tracking options, PATRIOT was top choice. According to Vidar Sorhus, PhD, CTO, SimSurgery, “The reason for this selection is the combination of performance, cost, and size of the PATRIOT system–we needed a system with two trackers that we could embed into our simulation hardware.” The PATRIOT sensors are not only easily embedded, but due to the true 6DOF the PATRIOT delivers, the SEP system can track both position and orientation of laparoscopic instruments. The tracked position and orientation data is used as input to real-time 3D simulation of surgical techniques and procedures.

For this application, SimSurgery needed a high level of accuracy and repeatability of position and orientation values, as well as a high update rate. PATRIOT was the perfect solution to achieve this. According to Vidar Sorhus of SimSurgery, “A great advantage of the PATRIOT tracking system used in SEP is that it measures the position and orientation of the free instruments without having the instruments anchored in a mechanical measurement system. This feature makes the simulator user interface very flexible and allows the user to freely select an instrument port. As a consequence, the system can be used to simulate scenarios with any port configurations, including single incision laparoscopic surgery.”

Learn more at the Polhemus Website!

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eoSim Provides Validated Affordable Surgical Training Solutions

surgical training box

Looking for affordable surgical training boxes with performance tracking through various OS platforms? Check out the various elegant surgical trainers from eoSurgical.

With eoSim, Trainees can learn advanced suturing techniques with the top of the range SurgTrac Elite take-home simulator, with access to the Core, Advanced and Elite Curricula.

Includes everything you need to take your skills training to the highest level:

  • SurgTrac training platform: access to our new SurgTrac software and the 6-module SurgTrac Elite Curriculum (in addition to the Core & Advanced Curricula).
  • Complete the SurgTrac Elite curriculum via distance learning, and receive remote assessment & feedback from our faculty.
  • Follow your skills progression via your online profile – now accessible from any device.
  • See the fastest times for each module via the Top Scalpel leaderboard.\
  • 6 x laparoscopic instruments: Ratcheted grasper, non-ratcheted grasper, scissors, knot pusher (to make reusable endoloops) & a pair of needle holders.
  • 3 x practice models: Peg-board (with thread), three-clip board, two-clip board & suture pad.
  • Disposables for practice models: 1 x roll of nylon thread, 2 x gloves, 4 x precision cutting templates, 4 x dice, 5 x paper clips, 6 x elastic bands, 8 x red & blue instrument stickers, 10 x foam tubes, 10 x white balloons, 10 x green balloons, 12 x 3/0 braided sutures.
  • High Definition 1080p USB plug-and-play scope built in.
  • LED light strip built in to provide optimal illumination.
  • Compatible with Mac OS 10.7 onwards and Windows 7 onwards.
  • Single user license
  • Also works with Tablets and Smartphones – even quicker and easier to get practising.

Learn more on the eoSurgical website!

Surgical Sam “World’s First Infant Surgical Team Trainer” From The Chamberlain Group | IMSH 2015 Video Interview

surgical sam

Lisa Chamberlain of The Chamberlain Group toured us through Surgical Sam while exhibiting at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare 2015. This unique model allows for advanced surgical training with realistic features specific to modules teams need rare training to perform. Watch our video interview below to get an inside look at Surgical Sam:

More from The Chamberlain Group’s Website:

“Surgical Sam is the world’s first beating heart, breathing, bleeding, high fidelity team trainer for pediatric surgery, developed with Boston Children’s Hospital as the centerpiece of their team-training initiatives in pediatric cardiothoracic and general surgery.

Unlike other patient mannequins that simulate only basic physiology, Surgical Sam ‘moves the needle’ on pediatric surgical team training by allowing important steps of surgery to really happen – allowing OR teams to fully immerse in simulations to optimize performance, safety and outcomes for children.

Surgical Sam for CT Training includes:

  • Surgical Sam Chassis 
  • Cardiothoracic Module 
  • Beating Heart Controller 
  • Pulse Controller
  • Variable Rate Controller
  • Shipping Case
  • Quick Start Curriculum developed by Boston Children’s Hospital

Modules available now

The Cardiothoracic Module features a beating heart with replaceable right atrium and aorta for cannulation, a suturable IVC bleed site, recloseable sternum, and ventilation-compatible lungs. Module supports hemodynamic flow to the thoracic cavity; bleed sites are externally controlled for simulating hemorrhagic events. 

The General Surgery Module includes ventilation compatible lungs, replaceable stomach and duodenum, liver with a capsule bleed and simulated electrocautery, and bowel for perforation and other emergent procedures. Module supports hemodynamic flow to the abdominal cavity; bleed sites are externally controlled for simulating hemorrhagic events.”

Visit TheCGroup.com to learn more about Surgical Sam and their other products today!

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CAE Healthcare Now Distributes VirtaMed Surgical Simulators to North America

virtamed surgical simulators

In HealthySim’s IMSH 2015 Exhibit Hall Highlights Reel, we shared that CAE Healthcare is now distributing European-based VirtaMed’s ArthroS Surgical Simulator in North America. ArthoS can easily swap out knee, shoulder, and FAST modules. The VirtaMed ArthroS offers risk-free training for knee and shoulder arthroscopy in a virtual reality environment. Learners practice with original surgical tools, and the anatomical rubber models provide the most accurate and realistic tactile sensation available today. Learner’s movements are captured on video, and the simulator records and stores performance data for objective assessment and debrief.

Knee Module:

The module presents basic skills, diagnostic and surgical cases for knee arthroscopy. 9 guided basic skill training cases fully integrated into a realistic simulation. Mastering these basic tasks enables trainees to perform a complete arthroscopy more easily and in an efficient, professional way. 8 patient cases with varying level of difficulty offer the trainee the chance to perform complete diagnostic arthroscopic interventions. Patients include different meniscus lesions, unhappy triad and arthrosis grade I-III. 11 patients with various lesions in different locations provide training for the first steps in operative arthroscopy using the operating equipment. Patients include different meniscus lesions, synovitial membrane inflammations and loose body removal.

Shoulder Module:

10 guided basic skill training cases fully integrated into a realistic simulation. Mastering these basic tasks enables trainees to perform a complete shoulder arthroscopy more easily and in an efficient, professional way. 10 different patients with varying level of difficulty offer the trainee the chance to perform complete diagnostic arthroscopic interventions. Patients include different lesions in rotator cuff and impingement syndrome. 7 patients with various lesions in different locations provide training for first steps in operative arthroscopy using OR equipment. Patients include loose body removal, subacromial debridement and decompression.

FAST Module:

9 motor skill training tasks on the FAST workstation guide the trainee through the first steps of arthroscopy. Basic camera navigation tasks include steadiness and image centering, horizon control and telescoping as well as the use of different optics – using both left and right hand for camera handling as well as frontal and posterior access to the FAST shell. This very basic arthroscopy skills training also teaches periscoping. Trainees learn how to detect and center an object, probe and grasp static objects, and develop triangulation skills.

Learn more at the CAE Healthcare VirtaMed ArthroS website!

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD) Acquires Simbionix

3d systems simbionix

This week I learned of a very interesting industry development that 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), which is one of the world’s leading 3d printing companies, acquired surgical simulator company Simbionix. 3D Systems goes beyond personal 3d printers with high-accuracy professional modeling systems which can be used for prototyping and functional part manufacturing. Consider just one of their printing systems:

Why I find this acquisition so interesting is knowing that 3D Systems can produce medical models and/or components, and that Simbionix is one of the major players in the surgical simulator space. Very curious to see what new innovations this new partnership will bring the healthcare education technology community.

About 3D Systems:

3D Systems is pioneering 3D printing for everyone. 3DS provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D design-to-manufacturing solutions including 3D printers, print materials and cloud sourced custom parts. Its powerful digital thread empowers professionals and consumers everywhere to bring their ideas to life in material choices including plastics, metals, ceramics and edibles. 3DS’ leading healthcare solutions include end-to-end simulation, training and integrated 3D planning and printing for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices. Its democratized 3D design and inspection products embody the latest perceptual, capture and touch technology. Its products and services replace and complement traditional methods with improved results and reduced time to outcomes. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, plan, guide, prototype or produce functional parts, devices and assemblies, empowering customers to manufacture the future.

About the Simbionix Acquisition:

This is an ideal fit as the world moves toward personalized medicine and patient specific procedures.  3D Systems has re-imagined the future of medicine and has added two other healthcare companies in the past several weeks Medical Modeling (range of custom anatomical models and Virtual Surgical Planning services) and LayerWise (metal additive manufacturing).

3D Systems provides the most advanced and comprehensive 3D design-to-manufacturing capabilities.  Healthcare solutions include integrated 3D planning and printing for personalized surgery and patient specific medical and dental devices, and training simulators that feature the Simbionix product line.

These products and services replace and complement traditional methods with improved results and reduced time to outcomes. These solutions are used to rapidly design, create, communicate, plan, guide, prototype or produce functional parts, devices and assemblies, empowering customers to manufacture the future. Simbionix training simulators are used in 2500+ institutions in 70+ countries around the world.

 Learn more about Simbionix and their new parent company 3D Systems

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Serious Games @ Google: Playing Surgery – A Laparoscopy Game for Surgeons on the Nintendo Wii From Lap-X


Not too long ago I posted an interview with the folks from Lap-X about their mobile and cost effective Laparascopic training simulator. They also suggested I check out this awesome presentation held on the Google Campus entitled “Playing Surgery – A Laparoscopy Game for Surgeons on the Nintendo Wii”. Check out how video gaming can be utilized for this “Google Tech Talk” presentation!

Presented by Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker, Tim Laning, and Jetse Goris.


Laparascopic (or keyhole) surgery is challenging for surgeons and can be dangerous for patients. The surgeons who perform these procedures need ongoing training and hands on practice. The University Medical Centers of Groningen and Leeuwarden in the Netherlands have teamed up with game developer Grendel Games (http://www.surgical-games.com/) to produce a unique solution. Instead of using expensive, traditional simulators to teach their doctors the motor skills needed for laparoscopic surgery, they have developed a full Nintendo Wii game with customized controls that imitate a surgeon’s instruments… but in a non-medical context.

What makes this game unique is the choice to make a virtual game world that offers an immersive storyline, exciting puzzles and pleasing visuals, around the control scheme and motor skills of laparoscopic surgery. This deliberate change of context is unique for a medical serious game.

At the 2010 Game Developers Conference (GDC), the first prototype of this game was presented. Forbes crowned it “one of the ten games that can change the world.” The 2010 presentation is one of the most viewed serious games videos in the GDC vault.

Project team members Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker, Tim Laning and Jetse Goris will describe their development process and demo the new version of the game and Wii controllers. Time permitting, local/live attendees will be able test out the redesigned controllers and game.


H.O. ten Cate Hoedemaker MD
Henk ten Cate Hoedemaker is a gastrointestinal surgeon at the University Medical Center of Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. His specialities include colorectal surgery, abdominal wall surgery and laparoscopy. In 1999, he won best instructor award at UMCG where he has taught many surgical and laparoscopic courses. Since 2000, he has been medical director of the Wenckebach Institute Skills Center at UMCG. He is also inventor of the C-seal colon stent.

Tim Laning
Tim Laning is CEO and co-founder of the 
award winning Dutch serious medical game company Grendel Games (www.grendel-games.com). Grendel Games builds games focused on physical and mental rehabilitation, surgical and medical training for medical education universities, hospitals and rehabilitation institutes. Grendel Games is one of the first companies to partner with medical training hospitals to develop a laparoscopic surgery training game
 to be released on Nintendo consoles in 2013.

 Laning helped found Gameship (the largest serious game development media lab in the Netherlands) and founded the annual serious game jam G-Ameland in 2007.

Jetse Goris MSc
Jetse Goris is an educational consultant and researcher at the University Medical Center of Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands. Jetse is currently conducting research to validate the efficacy of a Nintendo Wii laparoscopy game he helped design with UMC Gronigen/Leeuwarden and Grendel Games. Jetse is passionate about using and building innovative technologies to enhance medical teacher and student learning and performance.

“RealSpine” Surgical Simulator Provides High-Fidelity Procedure Training

real spine

I recently received some information about a new surgical simulator from “Real Spine” which caught my attention. Based on artificial materials, the simulator offers a great opportunity to practice interventions on the spine. Due to its realistic anatomical structures, soft tissues and intraoperative bleeding system the simulator is almost as realistic as a real patient. To me, the more task trainers specific to exact training procedures the better. number of specific task trainers on the market. The level of high-fidelity moulage inherent with this system is easy to see with the video below:

More About RealSpine from Their Website:

Simulation systems have become an integral part in many areas.  There are simulators for the training of pilots and especially for the training of future surgeons. They offer ranges from virtual simulators to mechatronic simulation systems that behave as realistic as a real patient. This includes RealSpine.  The idea of ​​developing a simulation system was created in 2010 at the Innovative Surgical Training Technologies (ISTT) at the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK Leipzig).

In 2012 after an intensive cooperation between medical doctors and engineers the first prototype was presented.  In the coming years, the simulator has been steadily improved and extended by additional components.  He has realistic anatomical structures, soft tissues and intraoperative bleeding system.  This allows future surgeons to train interventions on the lumbar spine with real instrument and simulated complications, like an injury to the dura with cerebrospinal fluid flow, under realistic conditions without risking a patients’ life.  The structures of the simulator can be pulled, stretched, twisted, punched, cut, and milled.  The six bleeding points and the integrated system to control surgical bleeding allow an optimal control of the bleeding intensity including suctioning, plugging and bone wax.  Thus different levels of difficulty, from basic to advanced surgical procedures, can be simulated.

Another advantage of the simulator is its modular system.  The RealSpine training system consists of a base station and a training unit. The RealSpine base station is the platform to connect different types of training units, simulating different parts of the human spine.  The training unit can be exchanged by another in less than one minute.  All consumables such as anatomical parts, fluid blood and cerebros
pinal fluid are included in the training unit. Real Spine is unique in its form, so far there is no comparable system for the training on the lumbar spine.

realspine system

RealSpine Training Opportunities include:

  • Laminectomy
  • Flavectomy
  • Foraminotomy
  • Facetectomy
  • Removal of lumbar disc herniation
  • Discectomy
  • Preparation of interbody endplates
  • TLIF via interlaminar application
  • Dura suture
  • Duraplasty

About ISTT and RealSpine

RealSpine has been developed at the ISTT, part of the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK Leipzig).  The ISTT is a team of young scientists from various disciplines, including physicians, engineers, educators, psychologists and computer scientists.  At ISTT we research and develop innovative solutions for surgical training. Essentially, this involves the development of innovative mechatronic simulation systems, innovative training operating rooms, innovative surgical training concepts, ergonomics and quality management in the operating room.  An important result of the research is the simulation system for the lumbar spine RealSpine, which is intended to improve the medical education and to increase patient safety.  RealSpine has been tested and validated by experienced surgeons and is used in workshops and courses in cooperation with the medical faculty at the University of Leipzig.

 To learn more, check out RealSpine.de today!

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Lap-X Surgical Simulator IMSH 2014 Video Interview

lapx surgical simulator

The LAP-X was on hand at IMSH 2014 where I had the chance to engage with this highly realistic yet still very affordable surgical simulator. What’s easy to see is just how compact and mobile this training system is — and with a variety of course content, debriefing capabilities and realistic engagements, this is definitely something to check out! Watch my video interview below to learn more.

More about the LAP-X from the Epona Website:

LAP-X is a laparoscopic surgical simulator. It provides easy accessible minimally invasive surgery simulation training for medical professionals at low-cost. It is designed for surgical residents, physicians, and operating room assistants to exercise laparoscopy skills training in medical schools/universities, hospitals and skills centers. LAP-X delivers simulation training for various surgical specialties such as General Surgery, Gynecology, Urology, Pediatric Surgery, and Gastrointestinal Surgery. LAP-X simulator for laparoscopy has four different system platforms in order to fulfill different requirements of healthcare professionals: LAP-X Hybrid, LAP-X VR, LAP-X Box pro, and LAP-X Box.

The advantages of the LAP-X are as follows:

  • LAP-X is intuitive to use, the software and hardware are self-explanatory and does not need third-party guidance.
  • LAP-X uses real surgical instruments to narrow the gap to reality.
  • LAP-X updates its new virtual reality exercises and modules free within license period.
  • LAP-X provides great services with software and hardware guarantee.
  • LAP-X is the most affordable laparoscopic training simulator on the market.
  • LAP-X is the lightest and most portable laparoscopic simulator.

Watch this official LAP-X gall bladder removal video to see the graphic interface in action:

Learn more about the Lap-X here!

SynDaver Animae Prototype Synthetic Tissue Cadaver

SynDaver Labs recently released this awe-inspiring video which demonstrates their prototype “Animae” synthetic tissue cadaver.

The $50,000 synthetic human “Animae is the first animated model from our award-winning SynDaver™ Synthetic Human (SSH) product line. The model includes standard SSH funtionality, as well as the ability to control motion of the arms, legs, head and jaw using a separate control panel.

SynDaver™ Animae includes skin with fat and fascia planes, every bone, muscle, tendon, and ligament in the body, fully articulating joints, a functioning respiratory system including trachea, lungs, and diaphragm, a complete digestive tract from the esophagus to rectum, the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder, and urethra), visceral organs (liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen), reproductive organs, a circulatory system with heart and coronary arteries, aorta, vena cava, and the primary arterial and venous trunks leading to the extremities.

The model may be covered with either the standard SynDaver™ synthetic human (pure wet chemistry) skin or our new organosilicate-synthetic human hybrid (polymer outer – wet inner) skin.

synthetic tissue model

User Controls: Control panel movement of arms, legs, head, and jaw. Blood flow and respiration control through separate control panels.

System Components: Animated full body with skin, storage and transport containers, stainless-steel procedure table, deluxe battery-powered heart pump, battery-powered combat ventilator, and all required accessories for life support and motion.

Tested Procedures: Coronary stent placement (through the thigh and wrist) with fluoroscopy, chest tube placement, tracheotomy, cricothyroidotomy, carotid endartarectomy, infusion port placement, central line placement with ultrasound, angioplasty, appendectomy, embolectomy, femoral cutdown with closure device, and hundreds of other procedures.

Imaging Equipment: Compatible with most known imaging equipment including CT, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound. Use with MRI equipment is not possible due to the presence of internal mechanical systems.

Surgical Equipment: Compatible with all know surgical devices including lasers, RF ablation, bipolar, monopolar, and harmonic devices.

Included Services: Onsite installation and training, one full year of anatomy, tissue, and hardware upgrades, and three-year warranty covering manufacturing defects. Annual service contracts covering every aspect of the system are also available.

To learn more about the Animae system (or the dozens of other synthetic teaching products) visit http://www.syndaver.com/.

Operative Experience Provides Realistic Surgical Simulator

Surgical Simulator

At IMSH I had a brief moment to talk with Dr. Robert F. Buckman, Jr. M.D., an internationally-known surgeon and inventor of medical technology devices, about the surgical simulator products available from Operative Experience.  Even though we only had a short conversation I was really impressed with the level of realism inherit with the Operative Experience surgery simulator product line.  Check out my interview with Dr. Buckman below:

Realistic surgery simulator procedures available from Operative Experience include:

  • Point-of-injury Hemorrhage Control
  • Low Transverse C-Section
  • External Fixation of Femur
  • Shunting of Femoral Artery and Vein
  • Proximal Control of Femoral Artery
  • Subdural Hematoma
  • Below Knee Amputation
  • Above Knee Amputation
  • Fasciotomy

surgery simulator

The Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC.Org) helped fund the development of these amazing surgical simulators. Visit OperativeExperience.com to learn more about their surgery simulation products and services!