Mentice's Metric-Based Simulator Studied for Mechanical Thrombectomy Training


June 11, 2018—Mentice AB announced the publication of study findings on the use of the company's VIST physics-based, high-fidelity simulator to train interventional neuroradiologists for mechanical thrombectomy in acute stroke. The study investigators concluded that metric-based simulation training can supplant a significant part of the learning curve on real patients and serves as a powerful tool to reproducibly augment the practical skills of endovascular procedures.

The article was published by Professor Thomas Liebig, MD, et al online ahead of print in Stroke.

As background, several significant studies published during 2015 have supported mechanical thrombectomy as the most effective and preferable solution for ischemic stroke; however, initial acquisition of skills for new operators as well as maintenance of skills for lower-volume operators and centers are factors that limit patients' access to this treatment.

Funded by a grant from Vinnova, the Swedish government's innovation agency, Mentice worked with a group of senior interventional neuroradiologists and the ASSERT (Application of Science to Simulation-based Education and Research on Training) Center at University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland, to develop and validate a simulation-based training system that can objectively, consistently, and reliably quantify the performance levels of physicians wishing to become proficient in mechanical thrombectomy.

According to the company, the system uses metrics derived from experienced interventional neuroradiologists to establish a level of proficiency (a performance benchmark that physicians must reach before performing on real patients). This offers a standardized and quality-assured approach to acquire, maintain, and assess the endovascular skills needed for this procedure. The solution is created with the purpose of assisting in a safe and effective rollout and expansion of the treatment of ischemic stroke using mechanical thrombectomy.

Professor Anthony G. Gallagher, PhD, of ASSERT and senior investigator of the study, commented in the Mentice press release, “Mechanical thrombectomy for acute stroke is a life-changing treatment for many acutely ill patients. The success of the treatment is determined in no small part by the skills of the physician performing the procedure. The virtual reality simulation that we describe and the training methodology will be used to enhance and quality assure the learning experience and training of doctors. Conceptually and intellectually appealing, it represents a paradigm shift in how doctors are prepared for the treatment of acute stroke.”


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