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AANA-VirtaMed Collaboration Incorporates Learning Initiative into Virtual Training

VirtaMed will debut its newest surgical training module for ACL reconstruction at this year’s Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) conference in San Francisco, California, May 19-21. Live demonstrations will be held at booth 208.

The Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) and VirtaMed, the world leader in medical simulation training, have announced the release of enhanced simulation training modules for arthroscopic knee surgeries.

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“the collaboration between VirtaMed and AANA’s working group has been mutually beneficial. We have been able to combine expertise in simulation with expert medical knowledge to improve medical education and protect patient safety.”

The new ACL Reconstruction module includes a new knee model and updated software based on the research findings of the AANA Copernicus Initiative. This Initiative was a 4-year series of research investigations into the merit and impact of the Proficiency Based Progression (PBP) training model. PBP Training dictates that the trainee must acquire and demonstrate basic skill sets before progressing on to more advanced techniques. The curriculum focuses on clearly defined metrics composed of steps to complete and specific errors to avoid.

In testing conducted by AANA, surgical residents who completed the PBP curriculum completed significantly more tasks and committed 55% fewer errors. They were also 5-7 times more likely to achieve a predetermined proficiency benchmark than residents trained using conventional methods.

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The new ACL Reconstruction module has a total of six new cases, including cases for diagnostics, joint preparation and graft placement. Simulation cases highlight errors and potential patient safety issues, letting surgeons learn from mistakes in a risk-free environment before moving into clinical practice. Dr. Jacqueline Brady, Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at the Oregon Health and Science University and an AANA knee expert, was one of the first to try the new ACL module. Dr. Brady noted that the new cases “are amazingly realistic”, and that the new training module “really replicates what residents experience in the operating room.”

André Niederberger, PhD, Senior Product Manager for Orthopedics at VirtaMed, noted that “the collaboration between VirtaMed and AANA’s working group has been mutually beneficial. We have been able to combine expertise in simulation with expert medical knowledge to improve medical education and protect patient safety.”

In developing the new simulators, VirtaMed collaborated with knee experts Dr. Jacqueline Brady, Dr. Cassandra Lee, and Dr. Patrick Joyner from the AANA Knee Taskforce. VirtaMed and AANA knee experts identified high-priority new cases and features with the most potential impact for training the next generation of surgeons. The VirtaMed ArthroS is unique in simulation training as trainees are able to palpate and distract a physical model while at the same time performing a virtual surgery.

The new knee model has been enhanced to make it highly realistic. The model boasts a patella and full sized foot model, which allow physicians to practice palpation and realistic leg manipulation. The model now supports a greater range of motion for both the hip and knee joints, such as hyperflexion for realistic ACL reconstruction and the ‘figure 4’ to allow access to the lateral point compartment. Nine access portals let physicians make their own choices about where to enter the joint to train on their selected procedure.

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