Case Study

Improving learning outcomes on Operating Room skills

A leading healthcare institution specializing in eye care surgery wanted to improve time to competency for its trainee surgeons on small-incision cataract surgery (SICS)

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A mission to deliver surgical training to ophthalmologists to perform small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) safely and efficiently

Medical education is undergoing continual change, as is the practice. Cutting-edge technology and high-tech medical instruments are critical components of the holistic treatment of various medical interventions.

One of our clients, a leading eye care provider, took on a mission to accelerate trainee surgeons’ time-to-readiness on surgical procedures. They approached us to create a simulated small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) solution that provides a safe environment to practice and achieve learning efficacy at the shortest duration possible.

Experiential learning labs

Practicing ophthalmic surgical skills through Virtual Reality simulations with hardware integration


Various estimates suggest that about 36 million people suffer from multiple forms of blindness worldwide, of which cataract is the most common cause of blindness. Small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) is one of the affordable treatment methods accepted globally as an intervention that can return vision to the millions affected.

However, surgical competence is a long journey and follows the Dreyfus model of skills acquisition. In this model, a trainee surgeon has to spend considerable time in operating rooms observing and learning before they could become competent enough to perform procedures independently and move on to becoming an expert.


Understanding the need for the client’s training solution, Virtual Reality (VR) simulation was selected  as the best way forward.

Integra’s team of technology and learning solution experts put in hundreds of hours of research on suitable development frameworks, prototyping, haptic device testing, and integration with the simulation.

Using Oculus Rift/Quest with TouchX haptic device and Foot Switch, we developed a simulation that guides a trainee surgeon through seven different steps of the procedure and culminates in performing an interactive surgery.

The learner carries out the interactivities involved in this simulation from a first-person view via Microscopic Output and Dynamic Cut (soft tissue) that simulates real-time experience. Integration with a TouchX haptic device and Foot Switch hardware and an Autorun 3D video (stereoscopic) version targeting TV / large displays, audio & OST provided the added immersion in the learning content.

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