At SxSW interactive, Sensable customers on "Stop the Bleeding!" panel advocate for better surgical training with touch-enabled simulation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Mar 10, 2011) — 

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 ear/nose/throat (ENT) surgical residents as part of a humanitarian initiative; and two representatives of BioDigital, a 3D 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 - Hilton/Austin, Salon H, 500 East 4th Street

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
The touch-enabled simulators to be showcased during the SxSW “Stop the Bleeding” panel include:

  • Virtual Temporal Bone Surgery Simulator, whose real-time, interactive computer simulations help surgeons learn the difficult and delicate surgical techniques associated with ear surgery that requires drilling into a bone in the skull called the temporal bone.   During his fourth annual trip to Escuela Hospital Antonio Lenin Fonseca in Managua, Nicaragua in January 2011, Dr. Greg Wiet and team performed several days of delicate ENT surgeries; and, during this visit, the team also delivered touch-enabled training to otolaryngology residents using the simulator. As a country where cadaveric materials are hard to access, Nicaragua typifies the setting where advanced surgical simulators can play an important role in training and provide the humanitarian benefit of helping to ensure that patients can access even highly specialized clinical skills from local ENT surgeons.
  • Dental Nerve Block Injection Simulator, which teaches dental residents how to perform an inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) block – one of the most common but more 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.

About Sensable: Founded in 1993, Sensable remains the leading developer of touch-enabled solutions and technology that allow users to not only see and hear an on-screen computer application, but to actually “feel” it.  With 44 patents granted and over 9,000 systems installed worldwide, Sensable helps people innovate with human touch solutions.  The company’s Sensable Dental division provides the Intellifit Digital Restoration System, while Sensable also sells a suite of 3D design solutions that includes its flagship product, Freeform®, and the Phantom® and Omni lines of haptic devices, used in surgical simulation and planning, stroke rehabilitation and medical training, as well as a range of research and robotic applications.  With an unparalleled commitment to partnering with customers, Sensable brings a human touch to innovating and implementing customer-centric solutions.  Sensable products are available through direct and reseller channels worldwide.

About the Ohio Supercomputer Center: The Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries, providing a reliable high performance computing and high performance networking infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community including education, academic research, industry, and state government. OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries. For more, visit .