VR Surgical training center set for Amsterdam 2018 opening

The AMC in Amsterdam . ()

Next year the city of Amsterdam will inaugurate a large, internationally-focused virtual reality training center for surgeons and other medical specialists. The Amsterdam Skills Centre for Health Sciences, or ASC, is a partnership between the city's two teaching hospitals to provide VR training for thousands of medical specialist trainees.

Some three thousand AMC and VUmc students will be able to hone their skills on virtual patients in twelve simulated operating rooms.

Some people might debate that training with VR glasses is not the same as working on a real patient, but according to Jaap Bonjer, the principal of the surgery department by VUmc, virtual technology and the artificial intelligence have improved so much that they now are helpful in medical practices.

He also expects that the training of a specialized surgeon, which now takes 14 years, could be reduced by a couple of years since this method is more efficient. "This means that not only the course will get cheaper, but also that more surgeons will be available faster," he says.

In addition to this, the VR clinic would also invite doctors from countries where patients barely have access to urgent surgery care. The idea behind it is to promote the global use of VR technology and thus provide training in other parts of the world. 

The building will be on the AMC campus behind the Hogeschool van Amsterdam's Nicolaes Tulphuis location. It is expected to open next November. For the technical arrangements the hospitals are working together with the medical technology specialized company Stryker.

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