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First virtual reality interventional radiology training video unveiled at SIR 2018

Video showcases interventional radiology procedure and environment to educacte practioners

LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2018)—The Society of Interventional Radiology debuted the first-ever virtual reality 360 (VR360) training video showcasing interventional radiology in practice, during SIR’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles.

The one-hour multisegment movie was a special project of its peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR), and its pioneering editor-in-chief, Ziv J Haskal, M.D., FSIR, a professor with the department of radiology and medical imaging at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville. It was funded by an innovation grant from JVIR publisher Elsevier.

“Interventional radiology has always been on the forefront of modern medicine and VR360 is the cutting-edge of medical simulation, so this project embodies the innovative spirit of our specialty,” said Haskal. “We took one of the hardest procedures we perform and created an all-enveloping, in-the-room VR film allowing an operating physician to return to any complex segment they wish for learning, review and perspective.”

The VR 360 video shows Haskal and his colleagues at the University of Virginia Health System performing a TIPS procedure in which they created a new blood vessel within the liver using tiny catheters, balloons and stents under image guidance.

“The immersive nature of VR, particularly when viewed in a VR viewer, heralds a sea change in complex medical training,” said Haskal. “The multicamera shoot and floating high-definition inserts offers viewers every perspective of the case, maximizing learning.”

The video premiered during the Extreme IR session at SIR 2018 and session attendees received complimentary VR viewers to experience the video on their smart phones.

“VR is a force multiplier, providing expert training to physicians around the world, those wishing to refresh their skills or gain confidence for delivering care in environments where clinician experts cannot provide them in-room training,” Haskal said.

The video is available on YouTube.  

Haskal is already planning next generation VR projects to educate patients, trainees and attending physicians about interventional radiology.

Special thanks to the University of Virginia Health System for making space available and accommodating the video shoot.

Media contact information

Elise Castelli
SIR Director, Communications and Public Relations
Phone: (703) 460-5572 

Kate Martin
SIR Coordinator, Communications
Phone: (703) 460-5597

Experience the IR suite in VR360

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 7,500 practicing interventional radiology physicians, trainees, students, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies. SIR’s members work in a variety of settings and at different professional levels—from medical students and residents to university faculty and private practice physicians. The Society of Interventional Radiology is holding its Annual Scientific Meeting March 17–22 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Visit