CHUM deploys simulator for
MONTREAL – Like
airline pilots, CHUM’s orthopaedic residents can now apply simulator
technology in practicing one of their field’s most common procedures.
Residents can conduct virtual arthroscopies of the knee and shoulder in
complete safety using the state-of-the-art insight ArthroVR simulator
from GMV, a Madrid-based firm.
Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) recently employed
this device for the first time in Canada to train orthopaedic residents.
Why utilize virtual reality? This simulator offers residents
leading-edge training tools to help them develop essential skills while
avoiding the risks inherent to procedures on actual patients.
This is also the only device of its kind that permits arthroscopies of
the knee and shoulder. Limited operating room time, accompanied by the
low availability and high cost of cadavers, are some of the reasons for
using a virtual simulator to train residents.
Furthermore, few specialists are specifically trained in performing
arthroscopies of the shoulder and thus able to train residents in this
The technique inserts a fibre-optic endoscope directly into the joint to
be studied. Arthroscopy is a delicate orthopaedic surgical procedure,
requiring frequent and sustained training.
The insightArthroVR simulator helps residents develop fundamental and
advanced skills in performing shoulder and knee arthroscopies, using a
tutorial approach for different clinical and diagnostic arthroscopic
A computer program includes basic and advanced exercises in handling
instruments and in reproducing life-sized models of the knee and
shoulder. Once an exercise is complete, the software generates a report
with performance scores and data on the user’s skills.
This data is also used to assess progress over time and to personalize
instruction. Specialists-in-training can use the device as of their
second year of residence, during a program in surgical sports medicine,
so that they will become acquainted with arthroscopic techniques at an
earlier stage of their careers. Arthroscopic training has traditionally
been offered in the last two years of residence.
“Ultimately the patient is the one who benefits from this specialized
training. This teaching technology results in a greater number of
specialists who can perform arthroscopies, providing patients with more
access to such treatment,” said Dr. Véronique Godbout (pictured above), orthopaedic
surgeon at CHUM, Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université
de Montréal, and supervisor of orthopaedic instruction at CHUM.
“Surgical risk management is a timely subject. The World Health
Organization’s 2006-2007 program clearly defined the need to develop new
technologies to improve patient safety. The insightArthroVR virtual
simulation device for teaching arthroscopy helps develop a highly
effective training program that is part of the medical curriculum. It
also provides an objective assessment of skill and learning process
development among future surgeons by drawing on advanced pilot
certification procedures,” said Ms. Almudena Sánchez, Business
Development official at GMV Healthcare.
The simulator will permit arthroscopic training for seven to nine
orthopaedic residents per year at CHUM, as part of the Université de
Montréal’s Édouard Samson Orthopaedics Program. The surgical sports
medicine program is generally open to orthopaedic residents from other
Acquisition of the simulator was made possible by financial
contributions from the CHUM Teaching Division, the CHUM Foundation and
the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine.
A video on how the simulator is used at CHUM can be seen on CHUM’s
YouTube page at
Posted September 23, 2010