AANA, VirtaMed Collaborate on New Arthroscopy Surgery Training Modules

The Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA) and VirtaMed, a world leader in medical simulation training, announced updated and enhanced training modules for hip joint surgeries. The announcement was the latest result of a collaboration agreement between the two organizations to advance and improve arthroscopy surgery skill training and develop standards for proficiency-based training curricula. The enhanced training modules, including a new hip module, were demonstrated at the AOSSM-AANA combined 2021 annual meeting held from July 7 to 11, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee.

To develop these modules, VirtaMed collaborated with hip experts Dr. John Christoforetti, Dr. Mike Gerhardt and Dr. Anil Ranawat from the AANA Hip Taskforce. As a result, six new AANA-defined guided hip diagnostic exams were designed to train surgeons on correct instrument usage, anatomy recognition and diagnostic procedures. This is in addition to a collection of existing diagnostic and therapeutic cases, including femoroplasty.

Clinical simulation cases now highlight potential patient safety issues, letting surgeons learn from mistakes in a risk-free environment before moving into clinical practice. Impartial feedback reports, an essential element of effective learning, have been integrated and are readily available for training debriefing.

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“Realistic simulators are a critical part of training for orthopedic surgeons,” Joseph C. Tauro, M.D., AANA board member explained. “They allow for repetition, show critical steps and give feedback on performance. AANA is leading the way in surgical skills training.”

André Niederberger, Ph.D., senior product manager for orthopedics at VirtaMed, added, “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 collaboration between the AANA and VirtaMed began in 2018, when the organizations signed a two-year collaboration agreement. The early success of the collaboration resulted in a three-year extension starting in 2020. To date, AANA experts have provided VirtaMed with input on cases and courses for training on the fundamentals of arthroscopy, and on the knee and shoulder joints.

Hip arthroscopy is comparatively new territory for arthroscopists and has become one of the fastest growing subspecialties in orthopaedic surgery. However, hip arthroscopy is a complex procedure due to the depth and tightness of the joint, as well as the presence of surrounding nerve and blood vessels. Adequate training is essential for both new surgeons as well as experienced surgeons looking to add hip preservation to their practice. Yet there is a shortage of opportunities for training due to a lack of hip-specific fellowships and the lower number of procedures conducted.

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Healthcare simulation training presents a safe, risk-free and effective way to make up this experience shortfall. With this in mind, VirtaMed and AANA hip experts have identified high-priority new cases and features with the most potential impact for training the next generation of surgeons. For example, the VirtaMed ArthroS is unique in clinical simulation training as trainees are able to palpate and distract a physical model, create their own portals using original instruments, and use radiation-free virtual fluoroscopy to assess instrument trajectory and joint decompression.

More About VirtaMed

Virtamed is a healthcare simulation company headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, that offers simulators for medical training and education. Through both medical training simulators and custom-made simulators, Virtamed develops and produces highly realistic surgical tools for medical education and training purposes.

The company’s mission is to alter the way medical skills are taught so that learners can receive feedback regarding their skill levels before treating patients firsthand. This helps to eliminate potential risk factors that could cause harm to real-life patients. In pursuit of this mission, VirtaMed’s vision is then to improve the quality of medical care with state-of-the-art, virtual reality-based medical training and education.

Since the company’s founding in 2007, a team of engineers focused on the future of surgical education have worked to combine customer orientation, agility, diversity and passion to create advanced surgical training tools. So far, various top-edge simulators have been developed and produced under their leadership.

Today, VirtaMed’s customized simulators foster an innovative professional company image. They are able to showcase medical devices in a virtual environment that is hands-on, leading learners to associate a facility’s branding, colors and designs with the established software components in use. Parts of the customized hardware components can also be adapted to fit a specific corporate identity.

Learn More About AANA-VirtaMed Collaboration Results

Today’s article was guest authored by Alex Gunderson, Senior Account Executive at Padilla (for VirtaMed).

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