University of Washington researchers are developing an intelligent virtual cadaver (IVC) for training learners in preparation for simulation, traditional cadaver dissection, and surgery. The IVC project may also serve as a basis for the virtual autopsy, a visual interface to the medical record, a substrate on which to visualize various forms of functional imaging, genomic or clinical trials data, and as a structural basis for the virtual physiological human.
Robotic-assisted surgery has become more common place in recent years. Products such as the da Vinci Robotic System allows surgeons to perform precise operations that are traditionally invasive with greater accuracy, minimal invasiveness, and faster recovery time. University of Washington researchers have investigated methods of further improving surgical proficiency with the da Vinci surgical robot through warm-up with a novel virtual reality robotic simulator platform. The DoD funded project enrolled surgical residents and faculty subjects from UW Medical Center in Seattle, WA and Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, WA. Study conclusions revealed significant improvement and error reduction rates among surgeons of varying experience after virtual reality warm-up for basic robotic surgery tasks.