Start of the European RASimAs project: Regional Anaesthesia Simulator and Assistant

The Department of Medical Informatics leads a new research project to bring virtual reality to medical doctors. The RASimAs project is funded with 3.3 million Euros by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme. It started on 1st of November 2013 and runs for three years.

Regional anaesthesia, in comparison to general anaesthesia, provides a safer environment for the patient while reducing the health care costs. The operation consists in injecting anaesthetic with a needle in the vicinity of the peripheral nerve of the patient. This technique, performed in clinical routine by medical doctors, requires advanced medical skills to locate the nerve of the patient. It necessitates substantial training of the medical doctors, limiting therefore the expansion of this technique in clinical environment despite its potential.

The RASimAs research project aims at developing a virtual reality platform in order to train and assist medical doctors while performing regional anaesthesia. This system will have a double impact on the medical practise, by increasing significantly the training scope of the doctors and by providing to the physicians a computer assistant during the actual operation, making expectedly regional anaesthesia a safer and more accessible practise in the future. The platform will consist in two different units, a simulator and an assistant. They will both provide in virtual and augmented reality the specific anatomy of each patient, developed in the framework of the virtual physiological human.

To achieve this objective, 14 academic, clinical and industrial partners from 10 different European countries cooperate in the RASimAs project under leadership of the Institute for Medical Informatics.

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