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Virtual Reality Improving Operating Room Efficiency

May 22, 2017

Operating Room

Traditional medtech companies are hoping to be a better partner to hospitals as the latter embark upon improving hospital efficiency. Some medtechs are even embracing cutting-edge technology.

Take Stryker, the orthopedics company out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is giving hospital administrators, surgeons, and architects the ability to virtually tweak the layout of an operating room.

Operating RoomThe overall goal? Ensure that surgeons get a chance to make sure the design of an operating room is conducive to getting equipment and patients in and out of surgery in a timely and successful fashion.

Stryker’s doing this using the Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer. Hospital staff who visit the company’s new 6,000-square-foot customer centerin California — part of its endoscopy division — are able to don pairs of the holographic goggles and use hand gestures to move equipment around a digital OR.

“When you’re building an operating room today, you’re looking at a complex set of drawings. Oftentimes the physicians find it so cumbersome that they might not get involved in the process,” said Stryker Director of Customer Excellence Chad Evans in a phone interview. “If anything, what we’re doing is creating a new language for all clinicians to be able to speak with architects.”

If you’re a surgeon, forget trying to use computer renderings to explain how exactly an operating room needs to be constructed and laid out to the designers of those operating rooms. Show them instead using virtual reality. As Evans said, with this technology Stryker is “creating a common vernacular between building architects and operating-room administrators.”

The 1,200-person company began rolling out this new technology through its sales force last December. So far, Stryker’s new customer center has hosted eight visits from different hospital systems around the U.S. Evans said major health systems are eager to take a look at how a different way of designing an operating room might help them cut both inefficiencies and costs.

Read More at the Source: How VR Can Improve OR Efficiency

Image Credit: Stryker

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