VirtaMed and Memic Innovative Surgery Ltd. have today announced a partnership to develop a new virtual reality simulator program to support surgeon skills training for the Hominis® Surgical System. Hominis is the first-ever FDA-authorized surgical robot that features miniature humanoid-shaped arms, with shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints that provide human level dexterity and 360-degree articulation, and is indicated for use in single site, natural orifice laparoscopic-assisted transvaginal benign gynecological procedures including benign hysterectomy. Memic anticipates that the simulator program will be ready for real-world use by the end of 2022.
“Before entering the operating room, it is essential for surgeons performing any procedure including transvaginal robotic surgeries to be fully confident in their abilities. Training programs including simulation offer significant benefits in terms of progressing competency and confidence level and refining the necessary skills to perform a procedure. They also help ensure that surgeons have a comprehensive understanding of how the tools and technologies they plan to use work,” said Michael Conditt, PhD, Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Clinical Development at Memic. “We are pleased to partner with VirtaMed, whose 15 years of experience in providing training solutions for minimally invasive transvaginal surgeries will be invaluable as we work to integrate proficiency-based simulation across the skills development pathway for surgeons using our Hominis System.”
The Hominis System is designed to replicate the motions and capabilities of a surgeon’s arms. Multiple instruments can be introduced to the body through a single portal and the 360-degree articulation enables obstacle avoidance as well as optimal access point and working angles. Hominis was granted de novo marketing authorization from the FDA in February 2021.
Under the terms of the partnership, the companies will develop an abstract training program that enables surgeons to train on use of the Hominis System in performing transvaginal gynecological procedures on consoles via virtual reality with kinematic feedback. The goal with the new simulation program is to provide a standardized, quantifiable training that supports an efficient learning experience for surgeons by providing proficiency-based training that will measure and mirror all aspects of real-world surgery. The program will be implemented as part of the ongoing Memic Skills Development Pathway, which offers surgeons customized, holistic and comprehensive training and education to acquire the technical skills needed to perform successful surgery with Hominis through programs including product demonstrations, peer-to-peer workshops, skills drills training, off-site wet lab experience, case observations, webinars and lectures.
“The comprehensive Skills Development Pathway for Hominis is impressive and shows Memic’s significant commitment to professional education and represents our shared vision of offering off-site training and education for surgeons, in addition to real-world experience in the operating room, to improve surgical technique and patient outcomes. We are excited to apply our technological expertise for the first time to robotics and be able to offer Hominis users procedural simulation in gynecology and potentially beyond in the years ahead,” said Stefan Tuchschmid, PhD, co-CEO and founder at VirtaMed.