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Surgical product manufacturer Inovus Medical, in collaboration with LCR 4.0, has created an innovative tool to enable medical students to use virtual reality (VR) in an operating theatre.

Inovus Medical, which supplies more than 60 percent of NHS Trusts, has produced the VR tool which it believes will transform medical training.

The pioneering product allows students and young medical professionals to train in a VR operating theatre using a high resolution, real-time video stream and physical feedback from the Inovus laparoscopic simulator.

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The company initially approached LCR 4.0 for support in expanding the functionality and features of its existing product line to allow for a more realistic experience, adding real-life dimensions to training methods to improve performance and outcomes.

Combining existing products and experience of developing high-quality virtual test environments with the technical expertise from LCR 4.0 delivery partner the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), Inovus has created a mixed reality, cyber physical surgical training tool.

Dr Elliot Street, CEO of Inovus Medical, commented: “The work we have done with the Virtual Engineering Centre through the LCR 4.0 programme has been pivotal in developing a new tool that has the potential to transform how medical professionals train and ultimately the quality of care patients receive.”

LCR 4.0 is a manufacturing programme that aims to put the Liverpool City Region at the heart of an evolution which is set to transform production in the modern world economy.

Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), LCR 4.0 creates a collaborative community that connects SMEs to expertise and support from key knowledge assets in the region.

Dr Andy Levers, Technical Director at the VEC and Technical Lead for LCR 4.0, added: “The work that Inovus is doing is so important and is an excellent example of how advanced Industry 4.0 technologies can transform the healthcare sector.

“The company already boasts a range of exceptionally advanced products, so it was interesting for us to be able to combine that with our in-house expertise to create a multi-functional, mixed reality surgical training tool.”

To further develop the product and bring it to market, Inovus is now carrying out further product development of this and a number of other technologies and hopes to launch a suite of new high-fidelity laparoscopic simulators in early 2020.

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