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In VirtaMed news: immersive virtual reality
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April 2016
 

From marketing tool to educational relevance: virtual reality needs to solve a teaching problem


Dear partners, clients, friends and innovation enthusiasts,

Face hugging headsets have been on the lips of all self-respecting tech reporters for a couple of years now, yet educationally relevant applications for the systems have been few and far between. While established simulators like the VirtaMed ArthroS™ have already been proven relevant in professional training (as the example of the Swiss Orthopaedics board certification below shows), the current headset based experiences are not yet mature enough to have a significant impact on medical education.

However, immaturity is no reason to ignore an emerging technology. The reason all these HTC Vives, Oculus Rifts, Samsung Gears, Google Cardboards and Daydreams are so popular is the fact that they create an emotional and memorable experience. If that magic could be harnessed for educational purposes, the technology would easily earn its keep. VirtaMed has already made good progress on that path, and we are inviting you to join us in creating something genuinely useful.

As you must have guessed by now, this newsletter talks a lot about new, immersive virtual reality technologies. We introduce one of our VR enthusiasts, and even the last advice column by Aunt Sophie tackles some philosophical implications of highly realistic simulations. If you're looking for some hands-on experience on our current simulators, visit us in one of the many conferences we have planned for the next few months.

Virtual reality restores the integrity of the human body


When cadaver training is a thing of the past and doctors no longer peruse the patient through massive incisions, medical education turns to virtual reality. While the human body once again becomes sacrosanct, medical professionals immerse themselves into human anatomy in more detail than ever before. The tools are already there.

Read the story and watch the video

Better surgeons through mandatory simulator exam: “We will not take a step backwards”


Since 2013, every doctor planning to specialize in orthopedics in Switzerland has had to pass an exam on a VirtaMed ArthroS™ simulator. This improved the quality of the exam so much that the Swiss Orthopaedics certification board president Dr. Ariane Gerber Popp can’t even imagine organizing the test without a simulator.

Read more about the simulator exam

Meet VirtaMed: “The technology of today will not support the doctor of tomorrow”


A theater producer, a business consultant, a marketer, and a VR enthusiast: our Strategic Project Manager Phil Norris has been many things in life. Now he is passionate about improving patient outcomes, and he wants to use the latest virtual reality technology together with you to achieve that.

Read the full interview

Conference corner – see our simulators in action!


Would you like to try out one of our simulators? Come meet us at a conference. At the moment we are in Singapore for SEUD, and our other April conferences include MAOA on Amelia Island (FL) and APKASS in Seoul. In May we would love to meet you at the Global Congress on Hysteroscopy in Barcelona, at AUA in Boston, at AANA in Denver (CO), or at EFORT in Vienna.

For June and July we have planned for example ISAKOS in Shanghai and ESHRE in Geneva. VirtaMed Inc has even been invited to be one of the few industry partners at the AOA Annual Leadership Meeting in Charlotte, NC, which is something our US team is really looking forward to.

Read the full list of our conference visits on our website.

Aunt Sophie: Is this the real world?


Dear Aunt Sophie,

The emergence of high-fidelity immersive virtual reality applications has made me suspicious of the line between reality and fabrication. How will I know that the world I live in is real and not a simulation?

Alice Liddell
Dear Alice,

You are in good company! Such ponderings on the limits of our knowledge have kept many a bright mind awake since the dawn of philosophy, not to mention art and popular culture. The bright minds are still debating, for it is the human condition to constantly seek and break all limits; I would not expect a conclusion any time soon.

My personal approach to the 'brain in the vat' problem and its variations is a utilitarian one: falsely presuming that the world I experience is real does not cause obvious harm to me or the people around me; at worst I am unwittingly being taken advantage of by someone outside my field of perception. However, if I presume that the world is not real and act accordingly, I may cause harm to both myself and others, should this hypothesis be wrong.

In the end it is a leap of faith, and I choose to make it: I choose to believe that people strive to be good, and that technological advancements will be used to make the world a better place. If this is indeed a brilliantly crafted simulation, let's make it a good one: let's learn everything we can so that we will become experts in life, and perhaps those skills can be transferred to a world beyond some day in the future.

This was the last advice column from Aunt Sophie, as she will from now on concentrate on her gardening. Thank you for the lovely questions!

The content of this column is purely fictional; any connections to actual people or events are purely coincidental.
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Stefan Tuchschmid, Co-CEO
 

Raimundo Sierra, Co-CEO


P.S.: For prompt updates you may always visit our Facebook or LinkedIn profile, follow the conversations on Twitter, check out movies of virtual reality procedures on Youtube or visit our Website for the latest news. Let's keep in touch!
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