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UK Doctors Live-Stream Cancer Surgery: How Virtual Reality Can Help Medicine Students

15 April 2016, 11:59 am EDT By Rina Marie Doctor Tech Times
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This VR experience shows you what mansplaining actually feels like

UK Doctors were able to live-stream a cancer surgery for worldwide audience, but specifically helped medical students get an almost real experience inside the operating room.

An actual cancer operation turned into a virtual reality experience on April 14, thanks to the 360-degree view of the procedure, made available via provider Medical Realities website.

Dr. Shafi Ahmed, co-founder of Medical Realities, specifically performed a colon cancer operation, wherein the removal of cancerous tissues of the patient was captured.

The goal of this event is basically reduce the expenses of medical student training by using a novel approach.

Medical School Stepping Up

Ahmed founded a pilot program called "Virtual Surgeon" to enable medical students to practice surgeries prior to stepping into the actual operating room. With the latest video released via of the program, Ahmed shows how feasible it is to demonstrate the ins and outs of surgeries through virtual reality.

"It's as close as you can get to replicating it," said Ahmed in a previous interview.

The objective is to produce content that will make the students feel like they are in the position of a well-experienced surgeon. Thursday's live stream video is just the beginning. The team plans to create a library of these types of clips so that it can be used as an educational tool in medical schools.

The Technology

For the recent surgical procedure, the team used two cameras to capture all the intricate details as Ahmed operates on the 70-year-old patient.

Aside from the Medical Realities website, the footage was also made available in an app called VRinOR. Users of Cardboard or Gear VR were able to switch between cameras as the operation happens.

The cameras were provided by immersive video specialist Matavision. According to the company, the ultimate goal of the program is giving that very real experience instead of just presenting the gory details of a surgery.

Matavision is looking at offering close-up clips, diagnostics and other ambitious endeavors such as filming from the inside of the body.

Technology has surely advanced tremendously, giving various sectors, especially education to step up in every way possible.

From traditional blackboards and chalk to white board and markers, and now virtual reality, imparting knowledge has truly transitioned for the better.

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