Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today introduced a revolutionary new virtual reality simulation intended to provide clinicians with an immersive, hands-on training experience to reinforce the recommended technique for administering EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) based on the infiltration protocol developed as part of the company’s ongoing Phase 4 TKA study. This cutting-edge training tool utilizes virtual reality and real-time haptic feedback technology to create a realistic surgical experience in a risk-free computer-generated environment.
Pacira developed the platform in partnership with a steering committee of orthopedic surgeons currently utilizing EXPAREL for their knee replacement patients’ postsurgical pain management to ensure the specifics of the infiltration process are appropriately captured and the simulation accurately replicates the real-world clinician experience. Beyond being visually immersed in the virtual infiltration procedure, a haptic stylus enables users to experience the sensation of injecting EXPAREL into varying tissue layers and types. Users receive real-time feedback with visual heat maps showing their actual infiltration results compared to the ideal distribution of EXPAREL throughout the surgical site.
“As a clinician who has experienced first-hand the impact of an enhanced recovery protocol in my total knee arthroplasty patients, I have found the addition of EXPAREL as part of a robust periarticular injection to be instrumental in pain relief and in patients’ postsurgical recovery. I was thrilled to be part of the working group who helped refine and perfect this comprehensive commitment to education that Pacira is making,” says steering committee member Stan Dysart, MD, who is a practicing orthopedic surgeon at Wellstar Kennestone and Pinnacle Orthopaedics in Marietta, GA. “In my own practice, I saw increasingly optimized and replicable outcomes with EXPAREL as I fine-tuned my infiltration technique to include an appropriate volume of solution, the proper multimodal protocol, and a precise injection technique. I am pleased to help share that insight with my colleagues and their patients alike.”
To further support clinician education, Pacira is simultaneously launching a new virtual training engine developed in collaboration with the mobile training platform Touch Surgery. The unique gaming experience is the first of its kind within the extensive Touch Surgery library of modules and provides users with the on-demand ability to practice infiltrating EXPAREL in a TKA by manipulating the exposure and angle of the knee, the angle of the syringe, the location of the injections, and the amount of volume distributed throughout the surgical site, all from the convenience of their smartphone or iPad. The Touch Surgery mobile app is available for free-of-charge download on iTunes, and will soon be released for the Android platform.
EXPAREL is indicated for single-dose administration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia. Pacira expects results from the Phase 4 randomized, controlled TKA trial (PILLAR) in Q1 of 2017.