October 8, 2007
Immersion Medical Introduces OB/GYN Module for LaparoscopyVR(TM) Surgical Simulator
Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, announces that Immersion Medical has introduced the OB/GYN surgical simulation module. The new module makes the LaparoscopyVR™ (LapVR™) surgical simulator http://www.immersion.com/medical/products/laparoscopy/ the only platform for laparoscopic training of three commonly performed OB/GYN procedures: ectopic surgical intervention, tubal occlusion, and salpingo-oophorectomy (fallopian tube and ovary removal).
Ectopic Surgical Intervention
Since 1970, the frequency of ectopic pregnancy has increased six-fold, today occurring in 2% of all pregnancies.(1) Ectopic pregnancy is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester and accounts for up to 15% of all maternal deaths.(2)
"Because of the emergent nature of ectopic pregnancy, there is a need for a high fidelity simulator to provide training for its laparoscopic treatment," said Dr. Kevin Stepp, assistant professor, Case Western University at Metro Health Medical Center. "The OB/GYN module provides valuable training in both salpingostomy, which preserves the tube to maintain fertility, if possible, and salpingectomy, which removes the tube. Simulation training for OB/GYN laparoscopic procedures is an excellent and necessary adjunct to the training of future OB/GYN surgeons."
Second only to the birth control pill, tubal ligation is chosen by 27.6% of American women as their method of contraception.(3) The LapVR OB/GYN module simulates three techniques for tubal ligation: bipolar electrosurgery, cutting, and clip application.
"Because tubal ligation is so common, it's a procedure that must be very well practiced and understood by residents and fellows," said Dr. Kelly H. Roy, clinical instructor at the University of Arizona, Phoenix Campus. "It's encouraging that we now have a much more complete OB/GYN laparoscopic surgical simulator that helps physicians learn independently, perfect their technique, and understand how to avoid complications, such as injury to the ureter and surrounding vital structures."
Salpingo-oophorectomy, the removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries, is performed to treat ovarian or other gynecological cancers or infections caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. With the availability of genetic testing for the breast and ovarian cancer (BRCA) gene, the rate of performing salpingo-oophorectomy for cancer risk reduction has increased. A BRCA gene change means a woman may have up to a 60% chance of getting ovarian cancer.(4) Salpingo-oophorectomy has been associated with an 85% reduction in ovarian cancer.(5)
"Immersion Medical's Salpingo-Oophorectomy procedure for the LapVR surgical simulator provides very realistic feel of the cut and coagulation aspect of salpingo-oophorectomy," said Dr. Damian P. Alagia III, director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery at the George Washington University Hospital. "This simulation platform is a very welcome contribution to both experienced OB/GYN surgeons and surgeons in training."
All of the procedures in the new module can be performed on several simulated patients, each with different anatomy and physiology involving increasing levels of difficulty for the surgeon. This stepwise approach can serve to deepen the trainee's experience. Further, residents can use the surgical simulator to gain basic laparoscopic skills, a clearer understanding of the procedure, recognition of pertinent landmarks to help minimize complications, and unlimited virtual reality training. The medical simulator provides performance metrics after every procedure, which provide immediate user feedback and allow instructors to address individual needs.
"Our goal has always been to expand our LapVR modules to provide simulation training for multiple disciplines, making the system one of the most extensive in the virtual reality medical simulation field," said Mark Meents, vice president of marketing and sales at Immersion Medical. "With our newest module release we are proud to now offer the most complete OB/GYN simulator in the field. The unique design of our LapVR surgical simulator, with both hardware and software designed by Immersion Medical, gives us a flexible platform for development of laparoscopic training modules for many disciplines."
The LapVR virtual reality surgical simulator http://www.immersion.com/medical/products/laparoscopy is designed as a complete system with tightly integrated TouchSenseÃ® haptic hardware and software. The system provides a physics-based environment that allows authentic and realistic graphical movement of tissue and organs integrated with realistic tactile feedback forces felt through the trocar arms and handles. The surgical simulation system comes with widely viewable monitor suitable for team training; virtual camera; tools; and Administration, Essential Skills, Adhesiolysis, and Lap Chole (gall bladder removal) modules packaged in an ergonomic, height-adjustable, wheeled cart. It also includes a curriculum that follows industry training standards, providing key material needed to administer effective training programs for both individuals and teams. Institutions can also import their own didactic video content directly into the surgical simulator for customized training.
(1) Sepilian, Vicken P. 2007. Ectopic Pregnancy. Emedicine. http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic3212.htm (accessed August 23, 2007).
(2) Tenore, Josie L. 2000. Ectopic Pregnancy. American Family Physician. http://www.aafp.org/afp/20000215/1080.html (accessed August 23, 2007).
(3) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. 2006. http://mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa_06/healthstatus/maternal/0330c.htm (accessed August 23, 2007).
(4) National Cancer Institute. 2002. Genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2: It's your choice. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA (accessed August 7, 2007).
(5) Kauff, Noah D., Deborah Goldfrank, and Richard R. Barakat. 2004. Preventing BRCA-related cancers: The case for oophorectomy. The Journal of Family Practice. http://www.jfponline.com/Pages.asp?AID=3306 (accessed August 23, 2007).
About Immersion Medical, Inc. (www.immersionmedical.com)
Immersion Medical, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets computer-based surgical simulation training systems (http://www.immersion.com/medical/surgical_sim.php) worldwide. The medical and surgical simulators integrate proprietary computer software and tactile feedback robotics to create highly realistic medical simulations that help train clinicians. The company's key product lines are the Endoscopy AccuTouchÃ® Simulator, the CathLabVR™ endovascular simulator, LaparoscopyVR™ surgical simulation system and the Virtual IV intravenous simulator.
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Using Immersion's advanced touch feedback technology, electronic user interfaces can be made more productive, compelling, entertaining, or safer. Immersion's technology is deployed across automotive, entertainment, industrial controls, medical training, mobility, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion's patent portfolio includes over 600 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of Immersion Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
All statements, other than the statements of historical fact, are statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements, including any projections of earnings, revenues, or other financial matters; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning consumer response that may occur as a result of the new simulator module release, or consumer or market acceptance of simulator products for medical training, continuing education or evaluation or consumer and market acceptance of force feedback products in general; proposed products or services; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; statements of belief; and any statement or assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Immersion's actual results might differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with our business which include, but are not limited to, delay in or failure to achieve commercial demand for our products or a delay in or failure to achieve the acceptance of force feedback as a critical user experience.
For a more detailed discussion of these factors, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially, interested parties should review the risk factors listed in our most current Form 10-Q, which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect our beliefs and predictions as of the date of this release. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements as a result of financial, business, or any other developments occurring after the date of this release.
Immersion, the Immersion logo, AccuTouch, CathLabVR, LaparoscopyVR, LapVR, and TouchSense are trademarks of Immersion Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.