Osso VR announced the results of its first validation study showing a 230 percent improvement in the participants’ overall surgical performance when prepared with virtual reality (VR) training.

The study, titled “Randomized, Controlled Trial of a Virtual Reality Tool to Teach Surgical Technique for Tibial Shaft Fracture Intramedullary Nailing,” was conducted by the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The results will be presented for the first time at the 2019 Current Annual Meeting of the Western Orthopedic Association.

Technological advances in orthopedics are requiring surgeons to master an increasing number of procedures and new medical devices. Unfortunately, training paradigms and opportunities have not increased to keep up with this massive educational burden. This issue is further exacerbated for residents by work-hour restrictions and increased time spent on non-clinical administrative tasks. A 2017 study performed at the University of Michigan found that upon graduation from residency, after 14 years of education, 30 percent of graduating residents were still unable to operate independently. VR training has the potential to directly address this problem by providing on-demand training that can be used anytime and anywhere. UCLA performed this validation study in order to understand whether this technology was effective and to what degree.

In the study, 20 participants were randomized between a traditionally trained group and a group that underwent VR training to a specified level of proficiency. Each participant then performed a tibial intramedullary nailing on a sawbones simulation, graded by a blinded observer.

Participants in the VR group completed the tibial intramedullary nailing procedure an average of 20 percent faster than the SG group, which was statistically significant (VR: 615 sec, SG: 762 sec, p = 0.002). In addition, students in the VR group completed 38 percent more steps correctly in the procedure-specific checklist compared to the SG group, which was statistically significant.

As measured by the Global Assessment 5-Point Rating Scale, participants in the VR group received significantly higher ratings in all categories compared to the SG group with an overall improvement of 230 percent in total score for the VR trained group.

“As an orthopaedic surgeon, it’s critical to me that our technology is evidence-based. As we roll out a completely new way to train, we want our users and customers to continue to see this platform as effective and reliable,” said Justin Barad, MD, CEO and co-founder of Osso VR. “These study results are just the beginning as we tackle one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today. Our goal is to unlock the value our providers and industry are working to bring to patients around the world.”

Further work will be completed to validate these training methods in long-term longitudinal studies, ultimately showing that VR simulation leads to improved patient outcomes and decreases cost by improving surgical efficiency.