New simulator enables fast, effective training of surgeons in hand-assisted laparoscopic colectomy

San Francisco 16 October 2005Haptica introduced a new Surgical Simulator for Hand-Assisted Laparoscopic Colectomy, known as ProMIS HALC, at the American College of Surgeons Annual Convention in San Francisco, October 16-20, 2005. The ProMIS HALC simulator simulates the surgical procedure, enabling surgeons to learn and practise performing a laparoscopic colectomy. By increasing the effectiveness of surgical training, the ProMIS HALC aims to help reduce the risk of surgery for the patient and support increased adoption of hand-assisted and laparoscopic techniques. ProMIS HALC has been developed by Haptica and Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., Cincinnati in collaboration with a panel of international colorectal surgeons.


The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2005, over 145.000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and that over 56.000 people will die from the disease. Most of these people will have some type of surgery to treat their condition. (American Cancer Society - "Colorectal Cancer Facts and Figures Special Edition 2005". Atlanta: American Cancer Society 2005.) The ProMIS HALC simulator from Haptica aims to help reduce the risk of surgery for the patient by providing effective training for surgeons.

Marking a major departure for surgical training, the ProMIS HALC allows a surgeon to perform a complete Laparoscopic Hand-Assisted Sigmoid Colectomy on a totally simulated model. The ProMIS HALC is the first simulator to integrate virtual reality with real haptics and real instruments. Surgeons use the full range of real laparoscopic instruments to complete the procedure, interacting with a mix of virtual reality and physical models.

The ProMIS HALC is built on a "Show, Practice, Measure" model. Surgeons are guided through the procedure step-by-step, and at the end are given feedback on their performance. As they work, the surgeon's instruments and hand are tracked as they perform the procedure. It is this combination of real and virtual worlds that enables the ProMIS HALC to deliver a highly realistic and engaging learning experience.

"We finally have a training tool that, through the combination of real tactile feedback and virtual reality, gives the surgeon an unparalleled opportunity to practise, step by step, a hand-assisted laparoscopic sigmoid resection", stated Bryan N. Butler, MD, of Buffalo Medical Group, New York.

For surgeons who already perform Laparoscopic Colectomy, the ProMIS HALC provides a focused, easy-to-use training regimen that facilitates transition to hand-assisted. For surgeons who perform Open Colectomy and who wish to take advantage of laparoscopic approaches, the ProMIS HALC provides an end-to-end experience that builds skill and provides extended opportunities for practice.

Derek Young of Haptica commented: "The future of surgical training is in simulation: the case is just too compelling to ignore. Simulation enables more surgeons to be trained faster and to more consistent levels of proficiency. In a world where patients and surgeons are demanding both more procedures to be done laparoscopically and reduced levels of risk, reaching proficiency on a simulator is a very effective route."

Haptica will offer the ProMIS HALC globally beginning in October 2005. Haptica Inc. is an independent company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and with a United States base in Boston, Massachusetts. Haptica develops needs-based, integrated simulation solutions for laparoscopic and other surgical procedures. Its simulation solutions focus on accelerating uptake of new devices, instruments and procedures, increasing surgical proficiency and, ultimately, delivering increased patient safety. As well as developing corporate solutions, Haptica's ProMIS surgical simulator is used in over 55 surgical skills centres globally. In 2004, Haptica and ProMIS were recognized with three prestigious awards for innovation.

Leslie Versweyveld

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