The Sensimmer Simulator: Game-Like, But Serious Business

July 19, 2011 -

Chicago-based technology firm ImmersiveTouch has been working in consultation with the Memphis-based Medical Education & Research Institute (MERI) on surgery simulator technology that looks and feels like a next-generation video game. The inventors say that while it might be video game-like, it has far more serious implications for medical training and surgery.

MERI does not have a financial stake in the company or in the simulator, but many of the doctors and surgeons who pass through the training center have offered their input in developing the product.

"We are engineers. We are not physicians," said Cristian Luciano, Sensimmer's co-inventor and ImmersiveTouch vice president. "The needs that are coming from the physicians and surgeons drive the (product development) efforts as we produce solutions for them."

The core of the Sensimmer simulator is the "realistic visual and tactile responses to the user." Users wear special glasses to see real-time 3-D images of a real patient's body, taken from either a CT scan or MRI, on a viewing screen. Below the screen are a stylus and a customized Wii remote that are used as surgical tools.

By pushing the stylus on the skin of the virtual patient, users can learn how to manipulate it. As Luciano puts it, "what you see is what you touch."

"Our initial usage has been for (medical) residents to be able to practice procedures before they actually go and do it on a cadaver," said Diana Kelly, MERI's manager of institutional development.

The device has been widely used for training, but a few physicians use it to practice surgeries on real patients using their MRI or CT scan data. Luciano hopes that it can be used for more vigorous surgery training in the future.

The Sensimmer was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago by Luciano and ImmersiveTouch CEO P. Pat Banerjee, both professors at the university. In development for seven years, the product has been on the market for three and is now in its second generation. Some of the product's evolution has been a direct result from those at the MERI.

"They have the basic software down and what we're trying to do is help them with the field part ... to make it one step better so (surgeons) are better prepared by the time they're actually on the patient," said Elizabeth Ostric, MERI executive director.

Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal


 
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Papa MidnightSure thing!03/27/2015 - 9:00pm
Andrew EisenPM - Thanks, I've updated the story.03/27/2015 - 8:59pm
Papa Midnighthttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/13-year-old-minecraft-player-confesses-to-swatting-police-say/03/27/2015 - 8:38pm
Andrew EisenThat would mean either Nintendo's next home console will be out by next year or the next Zelda game is suffering a two year delay. Both extraordinarily unlikely.03/27/2015 - 8:34pm
Matthew Wilsonsome people are thinking we might have a Twilight Princess situation on our hands, what do you guys think?03/27/2015 - 8:01pm
MechaCrashMiyamoto once said "a delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever." While this can be taken to excess, it is good that Nintendo remembers it.03/27/2015 - 7:44pm
MaskedPixelanteYay for it not being a buggy mess like AC Unity. Boo that it got delayed til November 2016.03/27/2015 - 7:07pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Considering we've seen nothing of the game (and those who did see it last E3, said it was super duper early) I would be quite surprised to see it this year.03/27/2015 - 5:28pm
Matthew WilsonI am sure star fox is 2016 too.03/27/2015 - 5:14pm
ZippyDSMleeThe primary reasons I would get a Nintendo system is Zelda and Metroid, Metroid prime collection was beyond words awesome even if 3 was the weakest one. I played TWP on the emulator I have Skyward Sword but like TWP I been putting it off…. LOL03/27/2015 - 5:14pm
Daniel LewisI actually thought star fox would be the game to be delayed,hopefully that isn't as well!03/27/2015 - 5:13pm
Daniel Lewiswoah post shared at the same time matthew,you just beat me!03/27/2015 - 5:11pm
Daniel LewisZelda wii u delayed until 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=67&v=C6Pzdl1wdUM03/27/2015 - 5:10pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=866919960035802&permPage=1 Who did not see this coming?03/27/2015 - 5:09pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/kleiner-perkins-verdict_n_6958164.html03/27/2015 - 5:07pm
MechaTama31I am always mysitfied when Cowboy Bebop is held up as an example of a good dub. Is it because it merely makes you want to cover your ears, rather than want to jam red-hot pokers into them?03/27/2015 - 5:04pm
james_fudgeyeah we covered that03/27/2015 - 4:41pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/13-year-old-minecraft-player-confesses-to-swatting-police-say/ not surprised.03/27/2015 - 3:51pm
Matthew WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
 

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