AO and Brainlab collaborate on the future of immersive medical education and training

Brainlab, the AO, and Level Ex sign an agreement at the AO Trustees Meeting, June 22, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. Left to right: Level Ex CEO, Sam Glassenberg; AO President, Florian Gebhard; AO CEO, Christoph Lindenmeyer; AO Executive Director Innovation Translation, Claas Albers; EMEA President Brainlab, Nils Ehrke

Brainlab and subsidiary Level Ex are working closely with the AO to deliver extended reality technology for best practices in education and training.

Together with Brainlab, a digital medical technology company, the AO announced an expanded collaboration that outlines expanded initiatives in their ongoing collaboration. Signed at the annual AO Trustees Meeting—held this year in Sydney, Australia—the collaboration showcases both parties’ dedication to advancing medical education, delivering on a shared belief that immersive education is the catalyst for change in surgical practice and improved patient outcomes.

Incorporating Brainlab technology into AO courses will increase knowledge acquisition, enhance decision making, and improve coordination of skills, all within a safe and engaging setting. The AO will leverage Brainlab technology, including Mixed Reality Viewer, for craniomaxillofacial (CMF), spine, and trauma education. This platform provides an immersive experience for physicians by offering 3D visualization of medical images, allowing the user to interact with 2D images and corresponding 3D patient models. Signature AO events, eg, the AO Davos Courses and AO regional events, will be equipped with this advanced training offering that features Brainlab Spine and CMF Elements software for preoperative planning and case review.

Using video game technology to accelerate the adoption of new skills and techniques

The AO, Brainlab, and its subsidiary—Level Ex—are working to accelerate the adoption of new skills and techniques using video game technology. Using Level Ex technology, the parties will transform AO clinical guidelines into game mechanics that will feature accurate, physics-based simulations. They will also collaborate on a new spine surgery video gamewith a dedicated curriculum focused on instilling the expert skills needed for successful spine procedures using the neuroscience of play.

The AO is committed to collaborating with Brainlab on an AO-recommended surgical navigation workflow for spinal procedures. The focus will be on training how to achieve the best accuracy at every step of the spinal procedure to improve patient outcomes. The solution relies on high imaging quality, precise pre-planning supported by AI-driven anatomical mapping and patient registration. In addition, the workflow will have a focus on navigated instrumentation that aims to decrease pressure on the spine to further increase accuracy and address the specific challenges of the cervical spine. The AO plans to introduce this workflow and associated technology into certain activities within the AO Education Institute and the AO Technical Commission.

The AO to integrate "extended reality" into teaching offerings through Brainlab partnership

“Brainlab and the AO have worked together for decades and are mutually dedicated to accelerating the adoption of new technology and clinical workflows to improve patient outcomes globally,” said Brainlab Founder and CEO Stefan Vilsmeier. “We’re excited to expand our collaboration and have a shared vision to create an Extended Reality Center for Immersive Surgical Education.”

"Since the 1990s, the AO and Brainlab have worked together on various projects focusing on computer guided applications,” said AO President Florian Gebhard. “Teaching has been, is and will be the major focus in the AOtoday we are excited to start the integration of "extended reality" in our teaching offerings together with our strong partner, Brainlab. We expect a huge impact on our learner experience using this technology. In parallel, the respective Technical Commission Expert Group will evaluate options for clinical extended reality applications, together with Brainlab, following our mission to improve patient care outcomes."

For more information, visit Brainlab online and read the press release here.

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