Immersion integrates Surgical Science's LapSim 1.5 software with Virtual Laparoscopic Simulator

San Jose 29 April 2002Immersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, has closed a strategic partnership to sell Surgical Science's LapSim Basic Skills 1.5 software bundled with Immersion's Virtual Laparoscopic simulator. This partnership will provide medical schools and teaching hospitals an alternative method of training doctors in the basic skills necessary to perform laparoscopy, surgery through a small opening in the body using a camera and instruments.

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The bundled product is available now and will be distributed through Immersion Medical's sales channels in North America and in a collaborative arrangement in Europe.

"In the past ten years, minimally invasive surgery has replaced open surgery for many general procedures, such as cholecystectomy, hernia repair, and numerous procedures in gynaecology. This type of surgery requires entirely new skill sets", stated Dr. Anders Hyltander, MD, PhD, president of Surgical Science AB. "Immersion's hardware and our software provides doctors-in-training realistic and effective methods of assessing, training and, in future, certification of their laparoscopic skills before touching a real patient."

Immersion's Virtual Laparoscopic simulator used in conjunction with Surgical Sciences LapSim Basic Skills 1.5 software teaches navigation and co-ordination of camera and instruments as well as grasping objects, cutting, applying clips to a bleeding artery, and suturing in a realistic anatomical environment.

"Immersion's hardware and Surgical Science's software provides one of the best alternatives to using real patients or animals for practising laparoscopy", explained Richard Stacey, vice president and general manager of Immersion Medical. "This partnership with Surgical Science will help us to not only increase our customer base in the United States and Europe, but also enhance customer satisfaction by offering them a complete solution in one package."

Surgical Science AB was founded on initiative from consultant surgeons at the Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gøteborg, Sweden. The Holding Company of the University and the Sixth Swedish Pension Fund are two major stakeholders in the company with long term financial commitments. Due to its background in academy, Surgical Science is a part of an internationally academic and clinical network.

Surgical Science develops simulation tools for teaching and training of minimally invasive surgical procedures based on cutting edge technology and internationally established technical standards. The company has established a scientific advisory board and scientific collaboration with internationally highly reputed universities.

R&D is thus an important long-term commitment and a prerequisite for continuous successful development in collaboration with the medical profession for design of new products. LapSim Basic Skills is the first of a number of products all of which characterised by flexibility and a module-based concept allowing tailored assessment, training, and future certification.

Immersion Medical designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based medical simulation systems worldwide. The systems integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics with new economical, high-powered computers to create highly realistic simulations. The company's three key product lines are the CathSim Vascular Access Simulator, the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator and the AccuTouch Endovascular Simulator.

More news on Immersion Medical is available in the VMW February 2002 article Immersion Medical simulators successfully validated in virtual bronchoscopy training tests by two medical studies.


Leslie Versweyveld

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