As touch-enabled technology (haptics) comes of age, medical modeling and surgical simulation are benefiting significantly from the ability to literally 'feel' images displayed on a computer screen. Surgeons, physicians and health care professionals no longer must train only on cadavers or in highly supervised settings with patients, but can experience a virtual reality environment that incorporates tools, visual images, sensory feedback and performance feedback to foster skill acquisition. Similarly, touch-enabled technology provides medical implant and device designers with a more natural, faster way to create digital models of implants and prosthetics, medical devices and body parts. Designers can more readily model the organic, often irregular shapes of the human body for an accurate and exacting fit, or create study models for difficult cases.
"We believe the knee arthroscopy simulator establishes a new standard in surgical training for orthopaedic surgeons and residents," said Victor Spitzer, PhD, president, ToLTech. "With SensAble's haptic technology we can create a realistic experience with far greater value to the surgeon."
For medical modeling, SensAble's FreeForm supports easy learning and is compatible with other major file formats such as .STL for import, prototyping and milling.
"At Biomet we use FreeForm to replace a formerly cumbersome and time-consuming process of modifying digitized CT images in an effort to design the implant to match the patient's specific bone anatomy and contour to match the bone surface," said Troy Hershberger, director of the patient-matched implants division of Biomet. "With FreeForm, our engineers literally feel like they are pushing putty into a shape that perfectly matches the desired region of the implant. As a result, Biomet's patient-matched implants team can work more efficiently."
"One of our areas of expertise is creating study models used in pre-surgical planning for complex cases, and FreeForm allows us to produce extremely accurate models from a patient's CT scan," said Andy Christensen, president of Medical Modeling. "Our cases come from all over the world, and by using electronic files, we can import, enhance and output a file quickly and accurately using FreeForm's file import and export capabilities. We have really pushed the envelope with some of these cases, and improved the quality of many patients' lives."
SensAble's touch-enabled technology, or products made with SensAble modeling solutions, are on display at the following:
-- Biomet - booth # 4960-70 - 3D modeling for design of patient-matched implants for hip, knee and shoulder joints
-- TolTech - booth #134 - touch-enabled technology for a novel arthroscopic knee surgery device - see companion press release issued today
-- Medical Modeling - booth #1356 - custom study models, patient-specific implants
About SensAble Technologies
Founded in 1993, SensAble Technologies is a leading developer of 3D touch-enabled (force feedback) solutions and technology that allow users to not only see and hear an on-screen computer application, but to actually 'feel' it. With 32 patents granted and over 6,000 systems installed worldwide, SensAble Technologies' haptic technology is being used in applications ranging from surgical simulation and stroke rehabilitation, to dental restorations, to designing toys and footwear; as well as a range of research and robotic applications. The company markets its own 3D modeling solutions as well as its haptic devices and developer toolkits to medical, dental, design, and manufacturing companies; educational and research institutions; and OEMs. SensAble products are available through direct and reseller channels worldwide. www.sensable.com
FreeForm, OpenHaptics, PHANTOM, SensAble, and SensAble Technologies, Inc., are trademarks or registered trademarks of SensAble Technologies, Inc. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective holders