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Issue 21, December 2015

Would you choose Gandalf or Darth Vader as your orthopedic surgeon?

Dear partners, clients, friends and innovation enthusiasts,

To celebrate the end of a great year, we wanted to make the newsletter a little more fun. In addition to news articles such as the ArthroS™ software update and our transvaginal ultrasound collaboration with ARMS, you will get to know some of the brains behind VirtaMed's solutions, experience a more concise view of our conference calendar, and enjoy a satirical advice column by the gentle and wise Aunt Sophie.

We wish you a pleasant holiday season and a wonderful new year!

VirtaMed ArthroS™ update – diagnostic puzzles for beginners and experts alike

The latest software update for our arthroscopy simulator introduces several new training cases, educational reading material, angled instruments and the mystery case "pathology unknown".

Read more about the software update

VirtaMed and ARMS to develop transvaginal ultrasound simulator

VirtaMed is excited to be once again working with Affiliates Risk Management Services; this time the companies have come together to create a virtual reality simulator for transvaginal ultrasound examination. The goal is to help physicians diagnose rare conditions during early pregnancy.

Read more about the collaboration

Meet VirtaMed: "I’m very happy to be in a field that helps people”

When Carolyn O’Brien took a job at VirtaMed as the company’s only hardware engineer in May 2011, she was still finishing up her Master’s thesis in Mechanical Engineering at ETH. Now VirtaMed has several teams devoted to hardware, and Carolyn no longer identifies herself as a mechanical engineer. She is, however, our rocket scientist.

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. We will visit the general simulation conference IMSH in San Diego, USA, on 16–20 January with our entire simulator family. In Switzerland you will find at the AROSA arthroscopy conference on 24–29 January, and February 4th through 7th we are showing the ArthroS™ at AANA in Idaho, USA. And yes, we will also be at ESSKA in Barcelona, Spain, in May.

Our sales partners also showcase our simulators around the world: Leader Healthcare will exhibit a range of our simulators during the Arab Health on January 25–28 in Dubai, UAE, and CAE Healthcare's HPSN World 2016 in Tampa, USA, on February 16–18 will feature VirtaMed simulators and many other networking opportunities for the medical simulation community.

Read the full list of ours and our sales partners' conference visits on our website.

Aunt Sophie: Dexterity maketh not the doctor

Dear Aunt Sophie,

Which one would perform a more successful arthroscopic surgery, Gandalf or Darth Vader?

Dr. David Tomlinson, M.D.
Dear Dr. Tomlinson,

Gandalf the Grey, or later Gandalf the White, has magic powerful enough to slay a Balrog. As Gandalf appears to have died in this battle, only to be reborn as an even stronger wizard, he clearly possesses very persuasive healing faculties. Gandalf would, without doubt, be an excellent physician.

Meanwhile, Darth Vader would unlikely be able to withstand the pressures of the daily clinical work with its tight schedules, patient contacts, and budgetary constraints. However, even without his right hand, or maybe just because of its replacement by a high-precision robotic limb, Dr. Vader's exhibition of the Force has proven nimble and adaptable to a medical context: he has already demonstrated his ability to reach into the human body and make slight changes without breaking through skin, thus obliterating the need for entry portals.

It seems that although Gandalf would surely enjoy a more successful and fulfilling career as a medical doctor, Darth Vader may be a more suitable candidate for a single arthroscopic procedure. I would, however, recommend caution when choosing your practitioner. Ambition and fine motor skills are good qualities to have, but a mutually beneficial patient–doctor relationship takes more than the performing of a single operation. Give Gandalf some time on a simulator, and he will be right as rain.

Do you have a question for Aunt Sophie? Send it to

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. Stay tuned!
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