eoSurgical is always looking to innovate, both with our hardware and our software. We produce the only accessible, mobile, instrument tracking simulator on the market. And we want to make it better.
Surgical simulation platforms really do work, confirmed by a growing body of evidence relating to different modes of simulation and in different surgical contexts. Of course, real-life operating cannot be truly replicated even with the most expensive, immersive, VR-enabled platforms. We have always aimed to make accessible and portable platforms that, in a relatively abstract setting, promote efficient acquisition of skills.
As jobbing NHS surgeons, we at eoSurgical are also acutely aware that real life is vastly different from a session practising in the calm environment of your home, or during a taught simulation session. Whilst skills learnt there will translate to the front line, we are mindful that overall performance goes far beyond the purely technical.
We have been there on that night shift when, whilst operating on a tricky emergency case, you are simultaneously disturbed by yet more urgent referrals, the FY2 wants your advice about an unwell ward patient, the anaesthetist is demanding a swift conclusion to the case, the scrub nurse is inexperienced, and there are issues with equipment… you really feel your skills being tested by these situations.
These stressors can undermine performance and part of training is learning to deal with this; to focus the mind on the issue at hand, to prioritise and compartmentalise. We can’t recreate this ‘perfect storm’ of stress, but we believe that we can add functionality to SurgTrac that will help trainees to manage better and perform better when faced by these situations.
With this in mind, we are working on augmented reality additions to SurgTrac. These will help to challenge the trainee in contexts beyond the purely technical. We are seeking input from current surgical trainees to help to develop and hone these platforms. If you are interested, please get in touch via the details below.
Skull-base neurosurgery fellow, Leeds General Infirmary