Although it is widely believed that good medical products deserve to get adopted faster, that’s not always the reality.
There are a lot of forces at play that slow down a product from getting adopted. Especially in healthcare, where you have to use a new or complicated medical device on a live patient.
“The Cathlab has a lot of anxiety. They need lot of hand-holding to make a mental shift from a femoral catheter to radial catheter, which is out of their comfort zone” says Dr. Gautam Nayak – a cardiologist at Confluence Health. He had heard about the multiple benefits of the radial catheter manufactured by Terumo Corp, and reached out to a rep there to get trained and start the radial practice.
“My cathlab staff gave all the excuses they could to avoid radial. This is the truth in most rural / mid-size hospitals where the folks are older and have more training in TFI”, Nayak remarks.
Dr. Douglas Johnston is the staff Cardiac Surgeon at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute. According to him, one of the most difficult challenges in surgical education is in recreating the emotional environment of a high risk medical scenario. Answering a question on paper or in a traditional oral board exam simply does not prepare someone to manage their fear and anxiety in a real emergency.
So what’s the solution?
Virtual reality, which technically, makes them feel like they’re ‘in’ the operating room as if like in real life. They can re-live a procedure over and over again, seeing at close quarters what the physician, fellow and nurses are doing at any given time, just by looking around.
Here at Boon, we provide an accessible, immersive virtual reality platform for physicians, fellows and nurses – just so they can train well and get the confidence to starting using a great, life-saving medical device actively on their patients.
What are the existing inferior alternatives?
Physical travel to training sessions led by a ‘proctor’ (too expensive to do it for the entire staff in addition to the physician, scheduling inefficiency), two-dimensional videos on a screen (non-immersive, don’t show 360 teamwork involved in medical procedures) and physical visits by sales reps (again, expensive to do it frequently and misses the point of ‘on-demand’ training).
Dr. Johnston points out “Virtual reality has a huge potential to improve the training of surgical residents, nurses, anesthesiologists and other OR and ICU staff.VR allows us to come much closer to that real environment, allowing us to expose trainees to high risk scenarios multiple times before they have to face it for real. They not only learn how to manage their fear response, but improve their “situational awareness” and their ability to gather data quickly, pause, and make rapid and effective decisions”
“Anything that takes away the anxiety of cathlab and bridges the knowledge vacuum of how it’s done and the possible complications will give confidence to the staff. This will allow doctor to do more cases and do them faster. Cathlab does the nuts and bolts of procedures like radial so they are crucial…I as the physician will be glad that my team is confident and is cooperating with me for adopting newer, better devices” is the closing statement from Dr. Nayak.
The infographic below summarizes the above commentary and also adds more detail gathered from Boon VR’s market validation study (interviews with physicians, medical device executives and medical training consultants) :