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Carla Pugh, M.D., Ph.D.: New Haptics Advisor at PrecisionOS

by Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.

Carla Pugh, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of Stanford’s Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement Center, has been named an advisor to PrecisionOS, pioneers of the medical-grade virtual reality™ learning platform.

Dr. Pugh, the first surgeon in the United States to obtain a Ph.D. in Education, has over 20 years of experience in higher-level education, medical training and surgical skills. She stated, “It is a huge honor to join the PrecisionOS team and partner on the development and implementation of the next generation in VR training and assessment. The future of surgical mastery lies in data visualization and information exchange and PrecisionOS is well-positioned to lead in this endeavor.”

Dr. Pugh earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Neurobiology, and her medical degree at Howard University School of Medicine. She went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. According to PrecisionOS, Dr. Pugh will incorporate her extensive research toward the uses of simulation and engineering technologies within PrecisionOS’ platform, thus allowing her to create “new approaches for assessing and defining skills within clinical procedures and tactile integration.”

Asked about how she will begin this new role, Dr. Pugh told OSN, “The first step will be to partner with the team to conduct a gap analysis to reveal the untapped uses of VR for training and assessment.”

“She’s a world expert on the use of sensors for performance,” said Dr. Danny Goel, an orthopedic surgeon in Vancouver, B.C. and Chief Executive Officer of PrecisionOS. “Her research is a prime example of how simulation can be used to generate medical metrics for testing the surgical skill performance, similar to Precision. Pugh’s work and experience draw from multiple disciplines, bridging the study of education and learning science into the field of medicine. We could not be any more excited to have her join the team.”

“Dr. Pugh has played a critical role in being granted three patents toward the use of sensor and data acquisition technology and has worked to redefine the measurement and characterization of hands-on clinical skills,” noted the company. “Currently, more than 200 medical and nursing schools use one of Dr. Pugh’s sensor-enabled training tools for their students and trainees. Dr. Pugh has also received numerous awards from both medical and engineering organizations for her ongoing contributions across the industry. Her recognitions include the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from former President of the United States, Barack Obama.”

“In 2014, Dr. Pugh was invited to present a TEDMED talk on the potential uses of sensor and motion tracking technology, an area she is often regarded as a leading international expert. More recently in 2018, Dr. Pugh was selected to be honorably inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.”

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Elizabeth Hofheinz

Two time winner of the MORE award Ms. Hofheinz was the first writer employed by Orthopedics This Week. The MORE award is granted annually by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to recognize excellence in journalism. Ms. Hofheinz is currently the Director of Communications for Ortho Spine Partners (OSP).

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