Panel advocates for better surgical training with touch-enabled simulation

March 10, 2011
Attendees in Austin get the “feeling” of Virtual Injection for Dental Surgery

WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Sensable announced that the South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive conference in Austin, TX, this week is spotlighting the use of advanced, touch-enabled medical simulation applications as a better way to train the next generation of surgeons worldwide, and Sensable’s role in furthering the trend.

All three members of a panel discussion on advanced medical simulation, entitled “Stop the Bleeding!” have deployed sophisticated medical simulation applications using Sensable’s Phantom® haptic devices and OpenHaptics® software toolkit. This includes a touch-enabled temporal bone surgical simulator from The Ohio Supercomputer Center that was recently used by Nicaraguan ENT surgical residents as part of a humanitarian initiative, and two representatives of BioDigital, a 3-D medical simulation firm with its touch-enabled dental nerve block injection simulator, created by professors at the University of California at San Francisco Dental School.

With cadavers being expensive, often hard to access, and providing limited practice opportunities, along with escalating concerns over patient safety, Sensable’s customers at the SxSW panel will give attendees the opportunity to “feel” how adding the sense of touch to medical simulations can create better learning environments for surgeons to attain and perfect their clinical skills, with zero risk to patients.

WHERE: South by Southwest Interactive Conference, Austin TX

WHAT: “Stop the Bleeding!” Immersive Simulations for Surgeons, using the Sensable family of Phantom haptic devices

WHEN: Saturday, March 12 at 9:30 am CT

WHO: Dr. Gregory Wiet, Associate Professor, Otolaryngology
Nationwide Children's Hospital/The Ohio State University
Frank Sculli and John Qualter, Partners/Co-Founders, BioDigital

INTERVIEWS: Available on request, contact Sensable, 978-685-3136 or 978-685-3136
The touch-enabled simulators to be showcased during the SxSW “Stop the Bleeding” panel include Dental Nerve Block Injection Simulator, which teaches dental residents how to perform an inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) block, one of the most common but difficult dental injections, since the exact location for the injection must be identified by nearby anatomical landmarks, and with a restricted range of sight. Developed in concert with Dr. Janice Lee of UCSF and her colleagues, the Nerve Block Injection Simulator is built upon the BioDigital Platform, a software solution upon which numerous medical simulators can be developed.

To read more about Sensable, go to

For other news about Sensable, visit

To comment on this article, go to