February 22, 2022
VirtaMed, which develops medical simulation training, has teamed up with medical device company Memic Innovative Surgery to develop a new virtual reality simulator program to support surgeon skills training for the Hominis Surgical System.
Hominis is an FDA-authorized surgical robot that features miniature humanoid-shaped arms with shoulder, elbow and wrist joints that provide human-level dexterity and 360-degree articulation. The robot is designed for use in single-site, natural orifice laparoscopic-assisted transvaginal benign gynecological procedures, including benign hysterectomy. Memic said it anticipates that the simulator program will be ready for real-world use by the end of 2022.
“Before entering the operating room, it is essential for surgeons performing any procedure including transvaginal robotic surgeries to be fully confident in their abilities,” said Michael Conditt, senior vice president of strategic marketing and clinical development at memic. “Training programs including simulation offer significant benefits in terms of progressing competency and confidence level and refining the necessary skills to perform a procedure. They also help ensure that surgeons have a comprehensive understanding of how the tools and technologies they plan to use work.”
The Hominis System is designed to replicate the motions and capabilities of a surgeon’s arms, VirtaMed said. Multiple instruments can be introduced to the body through a single portal, and the 360-degree articulation enables obstacle avoidance as well as optimal access point and working angles. VirtaMed said Hominis was granted de novo marketing authorization from the FDA in February 2021.
The two companies will develop an abstract training program that enables surgeons to train on use of the Hominis System in performing procedures on consoles via VR with kinematic feedback. The goal is to provide a standardized, quantifiable training that supports an efficient learning experience for surgeons by providing proficiency-based training that will measure and mirror all aspects of real-world surgery. The new program will be implemented as part of the ongoing Memic Skills Development Pathway, which offers surgeons customized, holistic and comprehensive training and education to acquire the technical skills needed to perform successful surgery with Hominis. This includes programs such as product demonstrations, peer-to-peer workshops, skills drills training, offsite wet lab experience, case observations, webinars, and lectures.
“The comprehensive Skills Development Pathway for Hominis is impressive and shows Memic’s significant commitment to professional education and represents our shared vision of offering offsite training and education for surgeons, in addition to real-world experience in the operating room, to improve surgical technique and patient outcomes,” said Stefan Tuchschmid, co-CEO and founder of VirtaMed. “We are excited to apply our technological expertise for the first time to robotics and be able to offer Hominis users procedural simulation in gynecology and potentially beyond in the years ahead.”