State-of-the-art technological developments make it already possible to simulate many sur-gical procedures in a true-to-life manner. However, a large part of the surgical education still happens in the operating room and during patient treatment. The PROFICIENCY pro-ject will enable a critical paradigm shift: Future surgeons will be able to learn and improve their surgical skills through highly-realistic simulator-supported training – without compro-mising patient safety. PROFICIENCY is build upon two columns. On the one hand, a modular curriculum will be developed that will be accessible on a digital learning platform. On the other hand – and this is very important– cutting-edge digital technologies will be de-veloped to make surgicaltraining more realistic, immersive and effective. The Swiss Inno-vation Agency (Innosuisse) supports the project, which has a total volume of 12 million Swiss francs, with a total of 6 million Swiss francs over the next four years.
Prof. Dr. sc. Philipp Fürnstahl, principal investigator at Balgrist University Hospital, ex-plained the significance of «PROFICIENCY» for surgical training: «The use of artificial in-telligence and augmented reality heralds the dawn of a new era for highly specialized surgi-cal training. In just a few years, the first prototypes can be integrated into highly modern learning centers such as the OR-X at Balgrist University and made available to young sur-geons.»
Researchers and developers from Balgrist University Hospital and the Balgrist Campus have researched, developed and tested the surgical innovations behind «PROFICIENCY». These innovations stem from the SURGENT (Surgeon Enhancing Technologies) project and also forms the basis for the new, translational OR-X teaching and research center. The OR-X center is currently under construction and will be brought into operation at Balgrist University Hospital next year.
«PROFICIENCY» is a cooperation between Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich University, ETH Zurich, Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen, the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV), Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and the four companies VirtaMed AG, Microsoft Schweiz GmbH, ORamaVR S.A. and Atracsys LLC.