Gallbladder and pancreas procedures now trained and rehearsed with Immersion's new ERCP simulator module

San Francisco 20 May 2002Immersion Medical, a wholly owned subsidiary of Immersion Corporation, has made available its ERCP training module for the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator, which will help clinicians acquire, maintain, and measure ERCP skills without putting patients at risk. Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography, referred to as ERCP, is a minimally invasive procedure which allows doctors to diagnose and treat disorders of the gallbladder and pancreas.


The new ERCP module will further expand the training capabilities of Immersion Medical's AccuTouch Endoscopy product line, providing the medical community with a wider range of procedures on one system.

"ERCP is a highly technical procedure that requires tremendous skill. It has one of the highest complication rates of all the endoscopic procedures", stated Dr. David Carr-Locke, director of endoscopy at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "The Immersion Medical ERCP module will provide valuable training in the operation of the duodenoscope and other instruments used during the procedure. The look and feel of the simulation is remarkably accurate."

Immersion Medical's ERCP module replicates the sight, sound, and feel of the actual procedure. During an ERCP, a doctor's attention is focused on a camera view of the upper gastro-intestinal tract, the feel of scope movement during navigation, and the reactions of the patient. Using Immersion Medical's ERCP module, doctors view a realistic three-dimensional model that visibly responds to scope movement in real time.

The feel of performing the procedure is provided by Immersion's haptic or touch technology, which reproduces the tactile sensations of scope resistance, tissue stretching, and difficult cannulation. Each computerised patient audibly responds to endoscopist's actions by expressing discomfort or pain. At the end of the simulation, the system generates a detailed performance evaluation for review by users and supervisors.

"This module was developed because of demand from the medical community for an ERCP simulator that offers realistic interactions and feedback, allowing the trainee to feel the contact between the scope and the patient's tissue", explained Joseph Tasto, M.D., medical director for Immersion Medical. "The ERCP module extends the capabilities of the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator to offer training in upper gastro-intestinal procedures, in addition to the already shipping lower gastro-intestinal training modules for sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy."

For more news on Immersion Medical, please also read this VMW issue's article Immersion Medical receives grant from NIH to develop haptic hysteroscopy training simulator.

Leslie Versweyveld

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