Case Study:

Virtual Botox: Haptic App Simulates Injecting The Real Thing

When:03.03.2014

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The Brief

Allergan, the company who make Botox, needed a simulator to allow doctors to practise injecting botox for treating muscle spasm. Inition worked with InViVo Communications to develop a PC-based haptic simulator to allow doctors to feel an accurate representation of the sensations involved in piercing the skin and the layers of muscle underneath.

Solution

We built the system around Sensable’s high-end Phantom Desktop device. This device can simulate sensations of touch very accurately through a pen-like device attached to an articulated arm. We designed and 3D printed out a custom attachment for the device using our in-house 3D printer that enabled the haptic device to be controlled by a hypodermic needle, producing a realistic interface for doctors.

After real-life training to get a feel for the ‘real thing’, our team designed a virtual 3D human bust with realistic muscle structure to act as a ‘Guinea Pig’ for our the simulation. Bespoke simulation software designed by Inition allowed users the freedom to view the patient from any angle, peel away layers of virtual skin to reveal the muscle structure beneath and ultimately practice injecting into the muscles with accurate force-feedback sensations of the elasticity and piercing of the skin. Under tuition, doctors can be assessed as to the accuracy of their aim thanks to a point mark being left behind at the point of injection.

Results

Our simulation was used at pharmaceutical exhibitions around the World with enthusiastic reception from the experts in the field.