Saskatoon neurosurgeon taps into virtual reality
'It's amazing technology. It's something out of Star Trek,' says Dr. Ivar Mendez
After finding a way to print a 3D model of the brain, a Saskatoon neurosurgeon is taking his technological expertise into the virtual world.
"We wanted to go beyond the idea of learning from a textbook or just imagine in your mind how you're going to do the surgical procedure," Dr. Ivar Mendez, the unified head of the department of surgery for the Saskatoon Health Region and the University of Saskatchewan, told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.
According to Mendez, the virtual system locates your body and your movements. A visor is then worn over the eyes, immersing you in a virtual reality environment.
He said with this new technology both students and doctors will be able to experience the brain by allowing them to virtually step through it.
"So as you walk into this virtual reality environment, the computer is really detecting your movements," he explained.
"It's amazing technology. It's something out of Star Trek."
Saskatchewan ideal place to work
Mendez came to Saskatoon three years ago after spending 20 years in Halifax.
"My move to Saskatchewan was a very deliberate one. I was interested in a number of issues that was very clear to me," he said.
He noted that the Prairie province was the ideal place to work and develop robotics because there were many communities "where access to health care was not the best," he said.
He said he plans to use his developments in technology to help narrow the inequality of health care provided.