ACV Centers Utilizes Virtual Reality to Expand Training of Lifesaving Procedures

ACV Centers is expanding access to its internationally recognized physician trainings through a new virtual reality program.

ACV Centers CEO Dr. Jihad A. Mustapha, who leads training for the organization, is the first endovascular interventional therapist to offer peer-to-peer procedural observation through VR. The new programming will allow for an immersive training experience on lifesaving critical limb ischemia, or CLI, procedures, many of which Mustapha has pioneered.

Partnering with Immertec, a MedTech software company that offers a real-time, peer-to-peer collaboration platform for physicians, Mustapha created the new program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made trainings especially difficult.

“Training and education are critical to our mission at ACV Centers,” Mustapha said. “If we are going to make progress in the fight against CLI, we need to have more physicians able to perform vascular interventions. We wanted to find an innovative, effective and immersive solution to continue training physicians, so VR was a natural fit.

“We are grateful for our strong partnership with Immertec as we built this revolutionary training platform. We expect to be able to train even more physicians than ever – and that translates into more limbs and lives saved.”

The first training was held Jan. 26 with physicians attending from several U.S. states, the United Kingdom and Argentina. The endovascular procedure was performed on a patient with a blocked leg artery that caused extreme pain, limiting his ability to walk and exercise. The physicians were able to see safe and effective techniques to obtain arterial access and successfully open the blockage.

ACV Centers and Immertec plan to host ongoing trainings over the next year, reaching hundreds of physicians.

“Dr. Jihad Mustapha is not only an extraordinary visionary physician, but his passion for educating at the highest level matches our team’s dedication to education,” said Immertec CEO and Founder Erik M. Maltais. “We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Dr. Mustapha, and we look forward to sharing his skills with the world.”

Founded in 2018 by Mustapha and Dr. Fadi A. Saab, ACV Centers is a leader in endovascular care, focusing primarily on peripheral artery disease, or PAD, and its more severe form, CLI. Widely known as “The Leg Savers,” Mustapha and Saab have pioneered several minimally invasive devices that prevent leg amputations.

Mustapha is the founder and director of the Amputation Prevention Symposium, or AMP, which is a conference created to address the unmet need for education and technologies for treating CLI in patients facing amputation. With conferences in the U.S. and Europe, AMP features world-renowned faculty, live case symposia, hands-on workshops and exhibits featuring the very latest products and technologies designed to assist in amputation prevention.

PAD is a common circulation problem that occurs when arteries that carry blood throughout the body become narrowed or blocked, restricting blood flow to feet, legs and other areas. Those who smoke, have diabetes or chronic kidney disease or experience high blood pressure or high cholesterol are more susceptible to PAD. Left untreated, PAD can lead to tissue loss, gangrene, amputations and eventually death.