Enhancing surgical practice
Our research has shown that surgeons working through a list of similar operations tend to become faster and more efficient after each procedure. We are now investigating ways of using virtual reality to help surgeons warm up before their first operation so they can reach peak efficiency more quickly.
By practising the techniques required in advance, surgeons can also prepare for more complex operations, familiarising themselves with the particular anatomy of a patient and trying out different approaches to see what might work best. These methods can be used to train surgeons in new techniques, both within the UK or in developing countries where there may be fewer specialist surgeons available.
We are working with software designers, games developers and engineering specialists to drive this technology forward to deliver these capabilities.
The benefits are clear: not only can we enhance surgeons skills and help to improve patient outcomes, we could also reduce hospital costs by decreasing theatre time and increasing the number of patients treated.