Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Neurosurgery. Published online May 19th, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-75583-0_16
In an era where neurosurgical training must counterbalance work-hours restrictions and patient safety with highly sophisticated technical mastery, virtual reality (VR) simulation offers a viable educational alternative to the Halstedian apprenticeship model in a risk-free environment. Furthermore, residency training is moving toward the use of proficiency performance benchmarks to acquire a minimum competency standard.
VR surgical simulation allows an objective assessment of practitioner psychomotor skills. Multiple VR simulators have been implemented in neurosurgical training, incorporating varying degrees of sensory cues, immersion, and interactivity. Among the neurosurgical VR simulators that provide visual and haptic feedback, NeuroVR™ allows bimanual manipulation of cranial models and practice of standardized tasks in a stereoscopic view, providing specific metrics and quantitative measurements. Simulating the surgical procedure and measuring the performance through standardized scores, NeuroVR™ may constitute a valid and powerful tool for acquisition, improvement, and assessment of neurosurgical competencies. Several studies have already proved the reliability and validity of its training modules; future full-scale studies are needed to explore the impact on actual operating room performance, the longitudinal efficacy, and the opportunity to customize training programs in order to maximize individual psychomotor skills.