SIGN Fracture Care International and Precision OS join efforts to educate surgeons around the globe.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 15th, 2020 — Epic MegaGrants recipient, Precision OS Technology, announced today a first-of-its-kind partnership that makes virtual reality (VR) surgical training for orthopedic surgeons available to physicians worldwide, expanding fracture care to 5 billion people in the world’s developing countries.
According to a 2015 report by The Lancet Commission, 40 percent of hospitals in developing countries provide surgical care for open fractures. The lack of access to treatment for such injuries, routinely available in the developed world, leads to a significant economic burden on patients and their families. There is an urgent need to train more surgical specialists to serve these regions.
“From the day we founded the company, we had a vision for using the immense scalability of virtual reality training to improve surgeon training and raise the standard of care worldwide,” states Danny Goel, M.D., CEO and co-founder of Precision OS. “SIGN Fracture Care International has been dedicated to that same mission and we are proud to support their work. We are grateful to our partners in this effort who are helping us to realize our collective vision.”
SIGN Fracture Care is a humanitarian organization that gives the injured poor access to fracture surgery by donating orthopedic education and implant systems to surgeons in developing countries. Educating local surgeons to care for and treat patients in their home communities builds sustainable orthopedic capacity and improves the quality of life and longevity for people in low- and middle-income countries.
The use of VR education will allow SIGN Fracture Care to expand its training efforts beyond their current methods. Currently they serve in 53 countries and 365 hospitals. They will distribute Oculus Quest wireless VR headsets among their hospitals and teach remotely using the “multiplayer” option supported by the Precision OS system. Two surgeons and SIGN Board Members, David Shearer, M.D. and Richard Gellman, M.D., will deliver the training alongside the founder and president of SIGN Fracture Care, Lewis Zirkle M.D.
“As it stands we have to spend several months a year traveling or flying surgeons to our headquarters to do training with the SIGN System,” says Dr. Shearer. “With VR, we have the opportunity to provide high-quality training remotely, which can markedly reduce the time and expense required. This has the potential to free up resources to train more surgeons, invest in manufacturing, and ultimately achieve greater impact.”
Dr. Zirkle says, “It is a pleasure to explore the educational opportunities to teach surgeons in developing countries about techniques and indications for orthopedic surgery. It is exciting to expand our training capabilities, and we want to thank Precision OS for the donation of the Oculus Quest based training solution.”
The Precision OS team is using the Unreal Game Engine from Epic Games as the technology foundation of their training solution. “Epic Games continues to support their advances in training simulation to improve healthcare delivery. Despite a very mature use of physical simulation, the healthcare domain is still at the infancy of its adoption of digital training, by making Unreal Engine more user friendly we empower subject matter experts to build training solutions for all” Sebastien Loze, Simulations Industry Manager at Epic Games.
The collaboration recognizes the growing importance and use of virtual reality for physician training, specifically in orthopedic surgery. Compared to conventional training modalities, virtual and augmented reality impart a new depth of contextual learning by improving understanding, technical skills and surgical readiness. VR surgical training introduces a new era of on-demand training that is cost effective and scalable.
Through VR training and education, surgeons will virtually practice and learn how to perform implant procedures as many times as required in order to acquire critical skills and confidence. This breakthrough in surgical training is especially important to SIGN Fracture Care, since new surgeons must train with an experienced SIGN Surgeon before the organization donates implants or instruments. SIGN Fracture Care will now have the ability to use the data gathered by the Precision OS system to monitor and track surgeon progress.
“Our goal and mission has been to provide the highest quality of education on a global scale”, says Dr. Goel. “I have significant admiration for the work that Dr. Zirkle and SIGN Fracture Care have been doing. To be involved in this capacity is extremely humbling for all us at PrecisionOS.”
To learn more about the program launch and success stories go to www.precisionostech.com
Jalila Singerff | Jive PR + Digital
About Precision OS
Precision OS was founded by a team of clinical orthopedic surgeons and game developers to create the most relevant and applicable medical-grade-VR-simulation™ experience. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia and backed by the prestigious AO Foundation, the company’s mission is to provide first-in-class orthopedic surgical training on a global scale. Given its focus on surgical education, Precision OS is not only a CME provider through the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, but has also established partnerships with more than 10 North American orthopedic residency programs and medical institutions. The company’s scientifically validated product has been tested among its end users and customers resulting in business relationships with some of the top orthopedic companies in the industry.
About SIGN Fracture Care International
SIGN Fracture Care International has been empowering local surgeons to treat their poor patients in developing countries for 20 years. Our model is to provide orthopedic education to surgeons in developing countries, then donate appropriate instruments and implants so they can treat patients with severe fractures. SIGN Fracture Care has helped more than 250,000 patients in 53 developing countries recover from broken bones and traumatic injuries. To learn more, visit www.signfracturecare.org.
About Epic Games
Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Battle Breakers, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology, the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D platform, is freely available at unrealengine.com. The Epic Games Store offers a handpicked library of games, available at epicgames.com. Follow @EpicGames for updates.
About Unreal Engine
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D platform. Creators across games, film, television, architecture, automotive and transportation, advertising, live events, and training and simulation choose Unreal to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds. Follow @UnrealEngine and download Unreal for free at unrealengine.com.