The sense of touch is crucial for medical training. Many diagnostic, surgical and interventional procedures require that physicians train and utilize their sense of touch, which made effective medical training utilizing computers infeasible, until now. Novint’s technology and medical products add this missing component to computer-based training and simulation. Our VoxelNotepad (VNP), which was originally developed for uses in the petroleum industry, enables users to interact with medical imagery including MRIs, CT scans and 3D Ultrasounds. In conjunction with Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Novint has also developed an advanced prototype of a Virtual Reality Dental Training System (VRDTS) which enables students to practice a variety of procedures on the computer.
Key Medical Products & Applications
* VoxelNotepad (VNP) - medical training and simulation
* Virtual Reality Dental Training System (VRDTS) - dental training and simulation
Virtual Reality Dental Training System (VRDTS)
During training, a dental student must learn to control surgical instruments very precisely, and develop a sophisticated feel for the interaction of these instruments with patient anatomy. Yet today, most dental students learn basic procedures with plastic teeth, hardly the best way to learn how to operate on live patients. Furthermore, with these traditional training methods, it is nearly impossible to quantify a student's proficiency. To address these shortcomings, Novint is developing a family of e-Touch Dental Simulators which incorporate a very life-like sense of touch, as well as 3D graphics and sound, to provide dental schools with realistic and quantifiable training systems.
Novint worked with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine to develop VRDTS (Virtual Reality Dental Training System) for Dental training. VRDTS is the first medical training simulator to utilize a 3 dimensional haptic interface to provide a very realistic simulation of dental procedures.
Using VRDTS dental students work with a virtual decayed tooth and learn to probe it for diagnosis, use a drill to prepare a tooth for cavity repair, fill the prepared cavity with amalgam and carve the amalgam to match the original tooth contour. Unlike plastic teeth, VRDTS enables the student to feel the difference between enamel, dentin, caries, amalgam and pulp throughout the procedure. The student's operation can be tracked precisely in real time, providing quantifiable feedback to both student and teacher. Lastly, since the entire process is virtual, the student has the ability to zoom, rotate and even cut the tooth in cross section to better understand the process. VRDTS offers a number of enhancements over current approaches to dental training:
- VRDTS presents the range of enamel, dentin, caries, amalgam and pulp material properties that a dentist encounters in the real world.
- Novint's hardware provides high fidelity simulation of the Explorer, Drill, Carrier, Tamper and Carver tools, enabling a student to practice procedures with confidence, and a teacher to quantify a student's efforts.
- VRDTS offers the student the opportunity to practice procedures as often as needed, with no additional cost for materials.
- Working in the digital domain provides the opportunity for more precise assessment of student progress and more efficient use of instructor's time.
For more information on the VRDTS System or Novint's other Medical Simulators, please contact us.