Indian company trains doctors in virtual reality for safer treatment practices
Chennai-based Merkel Haptics, founded in 2011 develops clinical training for doctors using virtual reality patients to render actual treatment safer.
“Laparoscopy Surgical Simulator with Merkel Haptics Feedback” and “In-Vitro Fertilisation Training Simulation with Haptics Feedback” are the two products by the startup born at the IIT-Madras Incubation cell, Touch Lab.
“Actual training is happening on real patients and there is always scope for mistakes. This is what is happening in all clinical training, with risk of injury. Our technology will replace the real patient with a virtual patient and doctors can practice on the virtual patient any number of times until they master the skill so that the real patient is safer,” said Dr M. Manivannan, founder and principal investigator of Touch lab.
One of the company’s main aims is to provide a cheaper alternative to the existing simulators with Haptics’ feedback in the international market, costing around RS 2 crore. The technology developed in the IIT-Madras Touch lab should cost Rs 30-35 lakhs when launched.
The products were ordered for $1 million by a Singapore-based company operating in India.
“Our objective is go for an Indian company transfer so that the Indian customer can afford these products. We went for this Singapore-based company as it has a huge base in India and, also, the company got an order from the Singapore government for the In-Vitro Fertilisation Training Simulation product,” reported Merkel Haptics Systems Pvt Ltd’s CEO Chander Paul.
Following a Rs 60 Lakh government funding, “The second product – In-Vitro Fertilisation Training Simulation — has been commissioned by Innov4Sight Health and Biomedical Systems Put Ltd, Singapore,” said Paul.