Menu
Surgical simulators get Hollywood special effects

Surgical simulators get Hollywood special effects

Boston Children's Hospital partnered with an effects to to create more lifelike simulators

What's creepy to one person can be lifesaving to another: Boston Children's Hospital teamed up with Hollywood special-effects artists to create lifelike simulators to train surgeons on complex, high-stakes operations. 

Two new trainers are under development and were unveiled at the hospital's Pediatric Innovation Summit in Boston. These will join Surgical Sam and other simulators. 

A new neurosurgical trainer focuses on a type of brain surgery to relieve life-threatening swelling, while the other is for heart-lung bypass on newborns.

"The current training model, if you call it that, for the patients is the patients," said Dr. Peter Weinstock, the director of the Boston Children's Hospital Simulator Program.

By making the simulators more lifelike, Weinstock said, there's more emotional buy-in from the surgeons. 

"[It's about] being able to hit a level of realism that allows them to fully suspend disbelief and completely engage in the surgery or the procedure," he said.

The simulators are more forgiving, not in anatomy, but in the fact that a wrong move would not be fatal. 

The simulators aren't completely passive. A series of tubes and sensors connect to the "pupeteering room," where the trainers control the simulators and present doctors with the kinds of complications they might encounter in a real surgery.

The Hollywood special effects studio that worked on the simulators has experience designing effects for television dramas like "ER" and "The Knick."

"We're known for creating hyper-realistic effects, but the difference is now we have to fool a surgeon," said Justin Raleigh, the CEO of Fractured FX.

Raleigh said that the simulators are built from actual CT (computerized tomography) scans from anonymous medical records. That makes them as lifelike as possible. 

Unlike the effects for television, the simulators need to not just look real, but feel real. 

"We have to make sure it is anatomically correct and has the level of 'tactileness' and the level of density that real tissue would have," he said. 

The simulators are refillable in that part of them is permanent and other parts are modular and consumable. So after one simulation, a section of the trainer is disposed of and a new one is dropped in for the next try.

Weinstock said that the next steps for the project are to complete trials at Boston Children's Hospital and then eventually commercialize the simulators so that other doctors and hospitals could use them. He wouldn't say how much they will cost. 


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments