In 18 months, the Touch Surgery app has become the largest global community of surgeons simulating and rehearsing virtual surgery on a mobile platform via iOS and Android devices. Co-founded by surgeons Dr. Jean Nehme and Dr. Andre Chow, Touch Surgery enables practitioners and patients alike to walk through the decision-making and anatomical proponents of an operation step-by-step on a virtual patient. The success of the platform has been facilitated by widespread collaboration with expert surgeons at institutions like Stanford University, Yale University, New York University, Dartmouth College, Vanderbilt University, Imperial College London, Singapore National Eye Center and many more, who share in the mission of Touch Surgery to disseminate best surgical practice in order to significantly improve patient safety and outcomes.
It is well established in academic research that a safe operation is made up of 75% decision making knowledge and 25% technical ability. Touch Surgery was created with this in mind, emphasizing the importance of a surgeon’s mind, not just his hands, in being critical to performing a safe and effective operation. Touch Surgery’s use of Cognitive Task Analysis, a validated tool for teaching complex procedures, aims to allow surgeons and trainees to reinforce knowledge, practice decisions, and make mistakes in a safe environment. The application’s assessment tools relay real-time feedback, identify areas for attention, and develop their own personalized surgical training pathway to shorten their learning curve to expertise.
Being a software that is designed for hardware such as smart devices that sit in most people’s pockets already, Touch Surgery’s 50 and counting operations are immediately accessible to surgical trainees to its more than quarter of a million users in every country on earth. John Paro, MD, a 6th Year Resident Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center and co-author of two virtual surgical simulations on the Touch Surgery surgical simulation app, explained, “There are so many resources available at your fingertips – articles, PDFs, YouTube videos. This is great, but the trouble with having that much access to information is figuring out how to whittle it down to what’s really valuable. I think that’s potentially one of the real benefits of Touch Surgery, to be able to see what steps are involved and how to perform the exposure of a procedure that you maybe haven’t done before, especially with the addition of an interactive element.”
Touch Surgery App Demo