Immersion Medical to introduce new endovascular simulation system

New Orleans 08 March 2004Immersion Corporation, a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, has launched its AccuTouch Endovascular Simulation System. Intended for training percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI), the new system replicates the look and feel of balloon angioplasty and stenting with realistic graphics and tactile feedback action. Doctors can independently practise these sensitive and critical procedures on the simulator to acquire, develop, and maintain proficiency, thereby increasing patient safety and reducing risk and cost.


"My experience with the new endovascular simulator has been very positive", stated Dr. Alan Yeung, chief, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, director, Interventional Cardiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. "I've found that doctors who trained with this system achieve better performance, take less time to complete a procedure, and require fewer procedures to reach competency than those trained under the historical mentoring method. They can repeat the same case and learn how an alternative approach could lead to a better outcome."

The AccuTouch Endovascular Simulator lets clinicians use the same tools they use in the real PCI process. The system emulates the operating theatre in many ways. Leading cardiologists participated in the design of the tactile feedback and worked to replicate the appropriate resistance for each stage of the procedure. Several anatomic and pathological variations are simulated, so users can step through increasingly difficult cases.

A real-time video display supplies visual feedback using a three-dimensional fluoroscopic view of a beating heart. In addition, the user's technique is tracked, and any resulting complications including dissection, perforation, vessel rupture, and cardiac arrest, are annotated. At the end of a training session, detailed evaluations note all user actions including actual procedural times, devices used, and many other metrics that describe the user's technique.

Medtronic, a medical technology company, partnered with Immersion to develop the simulator. The company also uses the device in its training programmes. "Doctors can really come up to speed quickly on the AccuTouch simulator", stated Janine Lane, director of Clinical Education at Medtronic. "The system provides a very realistic experience, and it offers round-the-clock learning independence. You don't need an instructor, a patient, a nursing staff, a sterile field. Those new to interventional procedures can use it as often as necessary, and more experienced physicians can use it to maintain their skills."

"This PCI simulation system, the first of its kind with tactile feedback, takes cardiac interventional training to a new level", stated Richard Vogel, senior vice president and general manager, Immersion Medical. "Now doctors will be able to master the controls, the anatomy, and good technique before ever touching a patient. This can result in lower patient risk, lower hospital costs, and faster training times, and can significantly improve overall outcomes."

Immersion Medical Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based medical training simulation systems worldwide. The systems integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics to create highly realistic medical procedure simulations that help train doctors. The company's four key product lines are the CathSim Vascular Access Simulator, the AccuTouch Endoscopy Simulator, the AccuTouch Endovascular Simulator, and AccuTouch Laparoscopic Simulator.

Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized expert in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Bringing value to markets where man-machine interaction needs to be made more compelling, safer, or productive, Immersion helps its partners broaden market reach by making the use of touch feedback as critical a user experience as sight and sound. Immersion's technology is deployed across personal computing, entertainment, medical training, automotive, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion and its wholly-owned subsidiaries hold more than 210 issued patents worldwide.

More news on Immersion Medical is available in the VMW December 2003 article Immersion Medical introduces first touch feedback hysteroscopy training simulator.

Leslie Versweyveld

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