Toyoda Gosei and EBM Corp. Launch “SupeR BEAT” Medical Simulator Using e-Rubber
Kiyosu, Japan, October 25, 2019: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. and EBM Corporation1 today launched the “SupeR BEAT” surgical training simulator. This simulator can reproduce the beating of the heart with extreme accuracy using e-Rubber, an innovative material that moves with electricity.
The two companies have been collaborating since November 2017 to develop a practical simulator that can help surgeons to efficiently improve their skills. Demand for such surgical training simulators is rapidly growing as medical surgeries are becoming increasingly sophisticated and ensuring safety becomes important more than ever. Training using simulators has become compulsory in specialties such as cardiovascular surgery, where doctors must complete a fixed amount of training.
SupeR BEAT is able to reproduce the beating of the heart during surgeries with such accuracy because of e-Rubber, which expands and contracts rapidly in response to electricity switching on and off. A special program installed in the simulator enables more than a dozen heartbeat patterns, which can be combined to mimic varying states such as the complex heartbeat patterns due to arrhythmia or the rapid heartbeat of infants. A stressful surgical environment very close to that of actual coronary artery bypass surgery2 can also be reproduced.
The two companies will continue their collaborative efforts in medical engineering to contribute to the advancement3 of medicine.
1 EBM is a university-launched venture company involved in training simulator development and system creation for both domestic Japanese and overseas markets, principally in the field of cardiac surgery. Their main products are used in about 70% of cardiovascular surgery hospitals in Japan, and also sold in the United States, Europe, and Asian countries. With the aim of international standardization of surgical technique training, EBM is cooperating closely with doctors from the aspects of both equipment and practices, centered on their Fukushima Institute of Surgical Training (FIST).
2 In surgeries to repair angina, myocardial infarction or other conditions in which circulation of the blood (oxygen supply) in the heart is impaired due to arteriosclerosis, blood flow is ensured by connecting the constricted artery to another healthy artery. To reduce patient burden, off pump surgery done without a heart-lung machine, which means the heart is still beating, is increasingly used. A high level of skill is essential to suture together vessels with a diameter of 2 millimeters on the surface of a beating heart.
3 Efforts are underway to further develop technique training by attaching e-Rubber sensors that can detect minute pressure to forceps and collecting and analyzing data such as the level of force applied in surgery.