box10.gif (1299 bytes)







Surgical technology

CAE beefs up surgical simulation offerings

MONTREAL – CAE Healthcare, a division of CAE, announced that it has acquired part of Immersion’s medical simulation business unit. Immersion, based in San Jose, Calif., is a leading provider of haptic (touch feedback) technology. Three product lines are part of the acquisition and will form the core offerings of CAE Healthcare’s newly established surgical simulation division.

The acquisition of Immersion’s assets supports CAE Healthcare’s strategy to provide a full range of best-in-class medical education and simulation solutions across a worldwide market.

The agreement includes Immersion’s Endoscopy AccuTouch, Laparoscopy Virtual Reality (VR), and Endovascular CathLab VR simulators. These surgical simulators allow surgeons to practice procedures and acquire skills to perform minimally invasive surgeries, including bronchoscopies, upper and lower gastrointestinal endoscopies and cardiac valve replacements.

More than 500 of these systems have been installed worldwide. In addition, Immersion will grant CAE Healthcare a non-exclusive worldwide license for the TouchSense haptic technology in medical training applications.

“We are committed to delivering the best training solutions to improve patient safety, and the acquisition of Immersion’s surgical training systems will accelerate our entry in the growing surgical simulation market,” said Guillaume Herve, President of CAE Healthcare.

“We welcome the Immersion team, and look forward to providing our new customers with continuous service support,” said Herve. “By combining the expertise of the Immersion team with CAE’s more than six decades of modelling, simulation and training experience, we intend to offer a complete solution for surgical simulation.”

Immersion’s medical line of business designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based virtual reality simulation training systems with realistic touch feedback that allows clinicians and students to practice and improve minimally invasive surgical skills in an environment that poses no risk to patients.

The advanced haptics are fundamental in providing an unequalled learning experience as they provide simulation on how a procedure or exercise actually feels. The medical business unit includes more than 30 employees in North America, a network of surgical subject matter experts, as well as 14 distributors and sales offices in Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.

“We are proud of the pioneering work that we have accomplished in the surgical simulation market,” said Victor Viegas, Interim CEO of Immersion. “We believe that CAE Healthcare provides a great opportunity for our medical employees, customers, and distributors to take our simulation business forward. At Immersion, we will focus our core strategy on what we do best – building reference designs and licensing TouchSense haptics solutions to all markets, including healthcare. We welcome CAE Healthcare as a new customer as we continue to capitalize on the medical market through our licensing model.”

About Immersion
Haptic (touch) technology is the future of user experience in digital devices. Founded in 1993, Immersion harnesses human touch to create user experiences that deliver a more compelling sense of the digital world. Using one of Immersion’s adaptable high fidelity haptic systems, partners can achieve a competitive advantage and greater revenue opportunities with products that are more intuitive, satisfying, efficient, and safe. With Immersion technology, world-class companies can deliver improved user experiences in products such as widely popular video games, leading video console gaming systems, advanced automotive driver controls, and award-winning mobile phones. With over 800 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries, Immersion is the leading innovator in touch-enabled user experiences that bring the digital universe to life.

About CAE Healthcare
CAE Healthcare is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CAE, a world leader in providing simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry and defence forces around the globe. CAE Healthcare is applying CAE’s training, simulation and modelling know-how from aviation to bring best practices to healthcare. It is developing cutting-edge learning tools and innovative simulation solutions for healthcare education with the objective of offering healthcare professionals the opportunity to develop practical experience on multiple simulation platforms before testing their skills on patients. The ultimate goal is to improve clinical competence and expertise and enhance the quality and safety of patient care and the efficiency of healthcare systems.

About CAE
CAE is a world leader in providing simulation and modelling technologies and integrated training solutions for the civil aviation industry and defence forces around the globe. With annual revenues exceeding C$1.6 billion, CAE employs more than 6,500 people at more than 90 sites and training locations in 20 countries. We have the largest installed base of civil and military full-flight simulators and training devices. Through our global network of 29 civil aviation and military training centres, we train more than 75,000 crewmembers yearly. We also offer modelling and simulation software to various market segments and, through CAE’s professional services division, we assist customers with a wide range of simulation-based needs.

Posted April 8, 2010