VR Training Expanding Across U.S. Medical Residency Programs

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By Dominik Bosnjak June 13, 2018, 5:52am
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Virtual reality training solutions are presently expanding to more top medical residency programs across the United States, with eight of them now embracing Osso VR's offerings. The Palo Alto, California-based startup is presently striving to reimagine the manner in which young surgeons are trained, making the entire process more accessible and possibly even accelerating it. Osso Chief Executive Officer Justin Barad called the development "a major milestone" for both the company and VR industry as a whole, describing it as an acknowledgment of the vast potential the emerging technology holds.

Harvard, UCLA, Columbia, and Vanderbilt are some of the entities that are now implementing Osso's VR solutions into their medical residency programs, with Johns Hopkins previously embracing a similar system created by ImmersiveTouch. VR training can address both existing and emerging gaps in training programs, with the latter category becoming more prominent with the rise of advanced robotics capable of performing simple procedures that's now taking away learning opportunities from young doctors. Besides allowing them to progress at an accelerated rate and practice as much as they want, VR solutions can also help mentors assess skill levels in a swifter manner, according to Jonathan Schoenecker of the Vanderbilt University. Ultimately, VR should benefit patients as well, leading to safer clinical practices enabled by more highly-skilled staff.

VR applications are still in their infancy and many remain centered around entertainment, with the same applying to augmented reality solutions. Most surgeons who are now embracing the new technology are primarily doing so for educational purposes, i.e. guiding students through procedures, something that's been proven as feasible even with basic gadgets such as Snap's camera-equipped Spectacles. Most industry trackers expect VR and AR to continue growing at a rapid pace in the coming years, particularly in regards to non-consumer-facing applications, with the medical field being considered as one of the most promising segments in that regard.

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June 13, 2018, 5:52am
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