March 29, 2011 15:07 ET

Made-In-Canada Technology: Virtual Brain Surgery Centre Launched in Toronto

Government of Canada investment revolutionizes medical training, reduces risks from brain surgery

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - A new virtual reality brain surgery training centre that will benefit Canadians undergoing brain surgery opened today at the Toronto Western Hospital. Bob Dechert, Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Erindale, along with Senator Don Meredith, made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

"Our government is investing in science and technology to improve the quality of life of Canadians, strengthen the economy and create jobs," said MP Dechert. "This investment will save lives by reinforcing Toronto's reputation as a world leader in medical research and providing opportunities to market made-in-Canada technology to the world."

In September 2010, Minister Goodyear was at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University to open the first new virtual reality neurosurgery training centre in Canada. The Montreal and Toronto facilities are two of seven new virtual training centres to be established across the country in London, Winnipeg and Calgary. Centres already exist in Halifax and Ottawa.

"This investment by the Harper Government will improve the quality of life and health of families across the Greater Toronto Area," said Senator Meredith.

Developed by the National Research Council of Canada, this state of the art technology is being installed at the Toronto Western Hospital's Krembil Neuroscience Centre in collaboration with the International Centre for Telesimulation and Innovation in Medical Education, at the University Health Network in Toronto. The new facility will provide neurosurgeons with a new, highly specialized tool—a virtual reality neurosurgery simulator—to enhance training and to practice patient-specific brain surgery. This will help reduce the risk of complications during surgery, speed up recovery, and streamline time in the operating room.

"This new virtual neurosurgery training centre is a very welcome addition to the Krembil Neuroscience Centre," said Dr. Robert Bell, president and Chief Executive Officer at University Health Network. "It is a significant leap forward in surgical training and in patient care, allowing physicians to train on simulated brain tumours and to rehearse more complex surgeries specifically tailored to each patient."

While Canada continues to lead the world in next generation virtual reality medical simulation, this new technology is laying the groundwork for sharing know-how and advanced made-in-Canada solutions with the world.

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada
    Media Relations

    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications