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Virtual reality brings cervical cancer surgery training to physicians

Too often, women in developing countries die of cervical cancer because there aren’t enough surgeons trained to perform a lifesaving surgery.

But a low-cost surgery simulation developed by a team of SMU, UNC School of Medicine and King’s College London researchers has the potential to change that.

Using widely available technology and Oculus Rift hardware—similar to what is used in popular games like “Lone Echo”—the team created a virtual reality simulation that mirrors what a surgeon would see in real life while performing a radical hysterectomy to remove a woman’s uterus and other parts of her womb.

So surgeons in developing countries can more easily get training on the procedure, potentially saving women’s lives, said Dr. Eric G. Bing, who co-authored a study on the simulation and is a global health professor at Southern Methodist University (SMU).

Watch SMU’s Lifesaving VR video to learn more.

By Gary O'Berg


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