Simbionix, acquired by Surgical Science from 3D Systems on July 28th, 2021, was a surgical simulation, training and education solutions company that specialized in 3D printing, software and anatomical models, and whose technologies now fall under the brand name of Surgical science. The company was founded in 1997 in Littleton, Colorado, and was previously acquired by 3D Systems in 2014. Simbionix as a brand name is no longer in use.

Now under the name Surgical Science, the company provides a complete solution for clinical simulation training programs, which remains committed to the advancement of clinical performance and optimization of procedural outcomes through simulation education and collaboration.

Simbionix’s state-of-the-art technology provided Surgeons, Interventionists, Nurses and Technicians with a platform to learn and master critical skills. The systems offer a range of basic and advanced procedures and medical specialties (like healthcare simulation in nursing education), and incorporate detail with complete metrics for overall skill assessment.

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Press Announcement about Acquisition of Simbionix by Surgical Science

Surgical Science and Simbionix join forces to deliver the future of medical simulation. The combination of the two VR simulation companies and their respective technologies gives an never been-seen chance to deliver the highest standard in training for medical professionals. Simulation training and surgical performance management is a growing segment of the global healthcare digitalization trend and plays an important role as new technologies rapidly enter the Operating Room. The merger between Surgical Science and Simbionix provides the healthcare community a reliable global technology partner while delivering increased patient safety.

“This acquisition should be viewed as a merger of two leading players to accelerate the ability to deliver the next generation simulation solutions for patient safety and value to our customers. We have a great respect for Simbionix’s know-how and look forward to this important step in the consolidation of our growing niche market”, says Gisli Hennermark, CEO, Surgical Science. “We are impressed by Surgical Science’s ability to execute on a clear strategy and look forward to joining the team and playing a large part in its future. With Simbionix’s leadership position in the medical simulation field, I see great opportunity in delivering excellent value to both medical technology companies as well as educational customers with Surgical Science”, Ran Bronstein, Chief Research & Operation Officer, 3D Systems Healthcare.

About Simbionix’s Healthcare Simulators, Now Known as Surgical Science

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Simbionix medical simulators and training simulators are developed in collaboration with global medical experts, who play an active role in simulation design, content definition, product testing and validation. Cooperation with leading professional societies (including SAGES, EAES and AABIP), credentialing boards and academic institutions internationally are all part of Simbionix’s plan to establish simulation-based curricula and meet certification requirements.

With Physician voices directly influencing the product design and validation processes, Simbionix is able to produce comprehensive, reliable and effective healthcare simulation solutions for customers. The simulators combine advanced visualization technology, realistic simulated anatomy and a variety of real surgical tools and devices. The company’s medical simulators also provide hands-on experience in medical training using surgical simulators to perform Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) and interventional procedures, ultimately increasing patient safety.

During each scenario, learners are free to practice skills and perform procedures until the required proficiency is attained. In addition, difficult and uncommon procedures may be practiced at any time using the company’s cloud-based education management solution. This maximizes consistency to optimize learning, providing a clear advantage over relying solely on available patient care opportunities.

Helping to spread the Simbionix mission and product capabilities, the company’s simulators and manikins have been presented at a variety of medical simulation conferences, exhibitions and shows, such as those hosted by SimGHOSTS, INACSL, ASPiH, SESAM, and the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSiH).

Examples of Simbionix Simulators Now a Part of the Surgical Science Portfolio

Simbionix’ unique technology enables realistic visualization of virtual anatomy and instrument activity. This technology is combined with a high-end haptic system for visual and tactile feedback and simulation debriefing. The company’s simulators include products designed for endovascular simulation, arthroscopic simulation, bronchoscopy simulation, gastrointestinal simulation, laparoscopic simulation and more.

Of these simulators, the ANGIO Mentor simulators provide hands-on practice of endovascular procedures performed under fluoroscopy in the cath lab, interventional suite or operating room in an extensive and complete virtual reality-simulated environment. The ANGIO Mentor provides a learner or team with training solutions for all levels of training and across multiple disciplines, including interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, electrophysiology, interventional neuroradiology, neurosurgery and trauma.

Another simulator, the ARTHRO Mentor, is an advanced arthroscopic training simulator. This simulator features a line of simulated procedures, combining fiberglass, polyurethane and anatomical models (shoulder, knee and hip) with 3D images and haptic sensation, to allow users to learn key aspects of the procedures. Simulated procedures are performed using an arthroscopic camera, which allows the learner to acquire a realistic hands-on experience.

The BRONCH Mentor shares a platform with the GI Mentor, and provides a comprehensive solution for the flexible bronchoscopy training needs of pulmonary and critical care Physicians, Anesthesiologists and Interventional Pulmonologists. Basic skill tasks and complete clinical procedures are combined to provide an optimal learning environment for motor, cognitive and coordinative skills acquisition. The simulator further provides diagnostic and therapeutic clinical hands-on experience.

Part of the platform, the GI Mentor, simulates the training of gastrointestinal upper and lower endoscopic procedures, offering a comprehensive library of modules with more than 120 tasks and virtual patient cases. The simulator offers realistic scenarios of clinical situations, ranging from simple diagnostic procedures to advanced ERCP and Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) procedures.

Other Simbionix tools include the LAP Mentor simulator, which provides laparoscopic training across multiple disciplines, and the PELVIC Mentor, designed for anatomy and pelvic exam training. Meeting the training needs of radiology and urology specialists, the PERC Mentor is a medical simulator for training percutaneous access procedures performed under real-time fluoroscopy. Additionally, the ROBOTIX Mentor is a virtual reality training simulator that provides a comprehensive curriculum including complete robotic clinical procedures with graphics and tissue behavior.

Simbionix also produces the SPINE Mentor, which is a virtual reality training simulator for minimally invasive spine surgery. Changing the face of endourology training, Simbionix’s URO Mentor medical simulator provides endourology training. The tool provides a unique opportunity to work with a variety of scopes, tools and visual images.

The U/S Mentor is a high-end ultrasound simulator for the training of examinations and interventions. For hysteroscopy simulation, Simbionix’s HYST Mentor (ob/gyn simulator) trains OB/GYN Surgeons for diagnostic and therapeutic hysteroscopy. Lastly, the TURP Mentor is an educational solution enabling realistic training on the diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic methods. Training includes mastering instruments and managing complications aimed at completing TURP procedure practice and laser BPH treatment.

Simbionix Preoperative Warm-Up

In addition to providing essential training in surgical procedures, Simbionix’s simulators, now under the brand name for Surgical Science, are now able to provide professionals with refresher instruction to improve skill retention. This has proven especially important as everyday surgical procedures begin to fully resume following the COVID-19 pandemic’s delay of elective surgeries.

According to Surgical Science, the company’s simulators will gradually start providing preoperative warm-up packages. The company says this is supported by studies that show that rehearsal improves outcomes along with patient safety through reduced errors, improved precision and shortened procedure time. The new warm-up exercises take 10 to 20 minutes and provide focused hands-on pre-surgical practice. This refresher is optimally conducted on healthcare simulators near the operating room so that the experience is within one hour prior to surgery.

Preoperative warm up packages on the LAP Mentor (laparoscopy), GI Mentor (endoscopy) and BRONCH Mentor (bronchoscopy) are currently available. These are on the tabletop versions of these simulators, and the warm up packages are available on Simbionix’s stationary simulation platforms as well.

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