InSimo is a surgical simulation software company that specializes in surgical training and education to reduce medical error and improve learner outcomes. Their surgical simulator technologies focus on fostering the development of next-generation medical patient simulators that are faster to produce and highly realistic, allowing for broader commercial offerings and novel uses.
By reproducing complicated cases through medical simulation, InSimo extends new opportunities to train a large number of surgeons in less time. The company believes that to reproduce the reality of the operating room, surgeons must be able to feel and see a faithful reproduction of each act during surgery to learn, reproduce and improve their techniques. To keep up with the ever-evolving field of medicine, InSimo’s surgical training simulators are constantly integrating new technologies across clinical simulation scenarios.
Founded as a startup in January 2013 and headquartered in Strasbourg, Grand Est, France, InSimo was created by members of Inria, the French Academic Institute of Computer Science and Numeric Research. These scientists, based in the Strasbourg Civil Hospital near the Institute of Image Guided Surgery (IHU), chose the path of entrepreneurship to develop their academic research into practical and marketable applications.
At the Civil Hospital, InSimo is located within IRCAD (Research Institute against Digestive Cancer), a private medical research center founded by Professor Jacques Marescaux in 1994. This center is recognized worldwide as a reference for minimally invasive surgery. Here, more than 3,500 international doctors receive training from the European Institute of TeleSurgery, Physics Platform Training Institute and WebSurg (World Electronic Book of Surgery), a virtual university specialized in surgery.
International recognition has enabled IRCAD to open two institutes, one in Taïwan in 2008 and one in Barretos, Brazil, in 2011. Together, IHU and IRCAD have helped to provide an environment particularly favorable for the development of InSimo.
Today, InSimo is powered by a wide variety of industrial collaborations, startup development support, and new business opportunities. The company’s goal is to allow for the training of performant and skilled surgeons that are prepared to handle any pathology, ultimately increasing patient safety. The company envisions a world where all surgeons can be confident from the moment they begin performing on real-life patients.
InSimo’s current company activity is divided into custom-made research and development and background research on next-generation healthcare simulation solutions. Together, this activity helps ensure the success of a highly-challenging ambition supported by the HelpMeSee organization, an American association established to eradicate cataract blindness by 2030.
To assist the HelpMeSee organization project, InSimo has set up an innovative healthcare simulation software solution for eye surgery called MSICS (Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery). The company works hand-in-hand with Moog for the development of hardware, and with SenseGraphics for realistic rendering. Through this work, InSimo hopes to be able to provide a high-fidelity simulator that will educate approximately 30,000 surgeons in MSICS.
To effectively address this first challenge, the InSimo startup team is mostly composed of simulation technology experts. This includes a team that is made up of engineers and researchers selected for their complementary skills in different fields, such as computer science, mechanics, physics, etc. InSimo hopes to become the primary reference for biomechanics medical simulation software. To reach this objective, the startup develops innovative software platforms to offer modern technical products, leading to additional medical simulators.
Moving into the patient-specific planning and per-operative simulation assisted systems markets, InSimo’s strategy has become to follow the evolving environment by developing more precise simulations than ever. The company aims to meet surgical learning and training needs and challenges, including the reproduction of organs and surgical procedures including force feedback. As a result, the clinical simulations have grown to have wider application in fields with greatly increased usefulness.
InSimo Healthcare Simulators for Surgical Training
InSimo’s surgical planning educator simulator offers interactive patient-specific 3D models. To create these simulations, InSimo rebuilds interactive 3D anatomical models from CT scan images of real patients. Using biomechanical simulation, the company reproduces realistic behavior of organs and surgical interactions. There are multiple surgical modules available based on the user’s surgical procedure needs.
Ideal to animate tutorials, the InSimo curriculum allows learners to address clinical cases and to plan each proposed surgery on a step-by-step basis. These exercises address specific educational notions and help learners to understand the high-stakes involved in each respective procedure.
Using diSplay, educators can generate customized 3D anatomical models rebuilt from CT scan images of their own patient cases. They can then demonstrate to their learners specific anatomical features or particular pathologies made interactive thanks to clinical simulation. One key feature of the diSplay technology is that ability for learners to access the surgical simulation from any location. They can visualize the results of clinical cases that were completed in class, or on any connected device by accessing their diSplay online account. DiSplay is non-limitative, meaning that learners can test surgical gestures repeatedly without limitations on the same organ model.
Furthermore, InSimo solutions are collaborative, allowing learners to work in teams on a single station and then mutually debriefing their decisions. They are immersive, so learners can perform virtual surgical gestures on interactive simulated anatomies. Additionally, the solutions are predictive to anticipate consequences of surgical decisions on a patient’s organs.
InSimo’s Sim&Care product is a lumbar puncture simulator that was developed in collaboration with the rheumatology department of the University Hospitals of Strasbourg (Hautepierre). Sim&Care offers a unique, highly-realistic, interactive high-fidelity surgical simulation helping learners to visualize patient anatomy. The surgical simulator also allows learners to accurately see and anticipate every detail of a lumbar puncture while developing their patient management skills.
By engaging with InSimo’s Sim&Care, learners can feel the sensations of the lumbar puncture gesture. The force feedback interface adapts to the sensations according to the tissue the learner is passing through. A haptic arm allows users to experience a highly realistic perception of the different anatomical structures.
Sim&Care combines reality with the learning of patient care and virtual training for gesture training. This unique virtual reality simulator represents the anatomy of a patient, and allows an immersion in simulated augmented reality, as well as sensory feelings faithfully reproduced thanks to strength feedback.
This hybrid simulator offers learners the opportunity to practice without risk to the patient, while allowing for the development of the professional skills integral to the success of this medical procedure. Combining practice with patient management and virtual reality in simulation to perform the invasive needle insertion procedure, this unique educational simulator allows learners to truly gain confidence and dexterity.
The InSimo team participated with interest and commitment at all stages of the simulator’s development, from the medical experts who helped ensure the clinical validation of the product to the team’s pedagogical contribution. Learn more on the InSimo website or read these articles below.
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