The first virtual 3D surgical programme has been developed to train the doctors of the future inScotland.
Medical students, trainee doctors and clinicians are benefitting from the innovative programme which allows them to practice surgical techniques on 3D models and animations.
It is the first of its kind in Scotland, and has been developed by the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.
Unlike using a cadaver or training dummy, it allows the student to repeat techniques several times, and at their own pace through innovative human-computer interaction systems.
In the future, it could also be used to help patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options, through seeing a visual representation of what their treatment will involve.
Visiting the hospital to see the new system in action, Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “I was delighted to visit the Golden Jubilee today to see first-hand how this innovative technique will help to train our doctors of the future.
“This is a really exciting development which shows how new technology can be used to help improve care and treatment for Scottish patients.
“I look forward to seeing how it develops, and how it can be rolled out further to train more doctors in more specialties.”
The training is currently being used within the Golden Jubilee’s Enhanced Recovery Programme for teaching on knee anatomy and regional anaesthesia, however the it could potentially be used for training in more specialties.
The project was the brain-child of Dr Robert (Robi) Zimmer, a Consultant Anaesthetist within the Golden Jubilee’s orthopaedic service, and a software development consultant.
Dr Zimmer said: “As a national resource for the NHS inScotland, with our own specialist research and clinical skills facility, it is important that we are at the forefront in delivering new and innovative training programmes.
“The 3D training programme is currently in its infancy but the opportunities are limitless and that is something which will benefit patients across Scotland.
“We hope that it will improve people’s understanding and visualisation of the body’s anatomy and in the future can be taken from the training room to the consulting room to educate our patients about their condition and treatment.”
From left, photograph shows Dr Robert Zimmer with Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing.