Twelve public and private universities in Mexico, which teach medicine, have been invited to use the facilities and software specialized in surgery at the new continuing medical education center or Innovation Room that the biomedical company Johnson & Johnson MedTech will open in May.
The objective of the center is to help medical students in advanced semesters, as well as residents and specialists to perfect their practice with advanced surgical techniques, as Andrés Gravenhorst, General Director of Johnson & Johnson MedTech Mexico, explained in an interview with Crónica.
“This helps reduce the patient’s time in the operating room and the frequency of errors. In addition, having more practice improves the access of more patients to treatments and improves the economic equation in health systems, which are under pressure around the world,” explained the director of this initiative that has technology that is not available anywhere else in Latin America.
Medical training in immersive environments has increased in the last decade. A study carried out by Mexican doctors in 2019 and published in the Journal of Muskuloskeletal Surgery compared the working times in the operating room of two groups of surgeons that were distinguished because one of them carried out practices and training in immersive virtual reality environments and the other group not. Among the data collected by the study, it was documented that the first group performed surgeries up to 6.14 minutes faster than those who only received training with videos but without immersive practice.
The data comes from the study Usefulness of Immersive Virtual Reality Simulation during Femoral Nail Application in an Orthopedic Fracture Skills Course, carried out by doctors Claudia Arroyo Berezowsky, Pedro Jorba Elguero, Marco Altamirano Cruz and Jimena Quinzaños Fresnedo
The facilities of the new Innovation Room are located in the south of Mexico City. They have six modules with simulators and endo-trainers that will be able to offer practices to 300 doctors and residents throughout the year. This virtual reality equipment allows simulating laparoscopic, electrophysiological, orthopedic, gynecological and colorectal surgery procedures, among others.
Laura Ortiz, leader of Professional Education at Johnson & Johnson MedTech Mexico informed this newspaper that since January 2022 contacts have been initiated with twelve public and private universities from different parts of the country, whose names will be announced as soon as the agreements are signed. .
“What we are looking for is that the hours of practice that are had in these teams obey the academic objectives of the teaching programs and even be qualified. Once the universities start working with the center, residents and professors will be able to request practice hours through an application and will be able to go to the facilities or also receive some remote training,” Ortiz told this newspaper.
One of the important aspects to underline is that the virtual environments used in this Innovation Room are made especially for Johnson & Johnson MedTech by the virtual reality developer company Osso VR, with the support of researchers from Imperial College London. In addition, the practices that are carried out can be evaluated remotely by doctors from the Catholic University of Chile.
In the simulators it is possible to be taught to take a catheter to the heart; do surgery on broken bones; colon interventions, among other procedures where a wrong movement can cause damage to the patient. In the virtual environment the practicing surgeon can become familiar with the tension, weight and movement of new technologies and develop fine touch skills.
“It is wrong to think that technology is going to push doctors aside; it will help improve or maintain your accuracy,” Gravenhorst stressed.