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VR avatar given to surgeon for brain surgery

Neurosurgeon receives virtual avatar for brain surgery training

Brain surgery is a delicate process, and surgeons normally need all the assistance they can get. Fortunately, assistance may be 3000 miles distant yet still in the same operation room. The AR/VR company EDUCSIM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have worked together to create a virtual representation of prominent neurosurgeon Benjamin Warf.

Benjamin Warf is an American paediatric neurosurgeon. Warf, who received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, has transformed the treatment of intracranial illnesses in very young infants, with an emphasis on hydrocephalus, a condition characterised by the presence of water in the brain.

This cooperation attempted to construct the neurosurgeon’s virtual persona, which is present currently in the Nano Immersion Laboratory of MIT. The objective is to revolutionise surgical education and change medical training across geographical limits.

A scenario to help illustrate this. Dr. Warf’s virtual avatar joins neurosurgery resident Matheus Vasconcelos in São Paulo, Brazil, despite their distance of nearly 3,000 kilometres. Vasconcelos uses virtual reality goggles to observe Warf’s digital counterpart conduct delicate brain surgery on a doll-like replica.

Warf describes it as being nearly equivalent to an identical twin experience. The well-known surgeon may operate simultaneously in two places because of this virtual connection. By doing this, he is providing medical workers worldwide with vital training.

Vasconcelos, a neurosurgery fellow at São Paulo, Brazil’s Santa Casa de São Paulo School of Medical Sciences, claimed excellent results from his first education using this methodology. Now that he is a resident and working with a professor to guide him, he feels more confident and at ease using the procedure on an actual patient.

Giselle Coelho, EDUCSIM’s scientific director and paediatric neurosurgeon, launched the initiative. Coelho set out to offer a solution because he was dissatisfied with the lack of practical training options. EDUCSIM collaborated with MIT.nano’s deep-technology accelerator programme, START.nano, to create Warf’s avatar using MIT’s cutting-edge Immersion Lab.

To get the intricacies of a surgeon’s ability, the team used volumetric video capture, high-fidelity motion capture, and several VR/AR technologies. Warf attended MIT-Nano many times.

Warf also donned customised gloves and garments that were equipped with sensors. He even worked on a physical baby model. All of this resulted in a realistic avatar capable of showing surgical methods with extreme accuracy.

The avatar may work in both synchronous and asynchronous modes. The avatar replies with AI-generated responses based on considerable study and Warf’s own Q&A library.

According to MIT News, this virtual instruction has a huge potential effect. Dr. Warf sees avatars as a tremendous tool, especially in distant and underdeveloped places. The Avatar project may never replace hands-on education, but it does provide a fresh, cost-effective, and time-efficient option for learning and development.

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