Use of a haptic simulation to allow practice of a complex procedure in a safe environment
To allow medical students to develop skills in ear surgery without risk to real patients
Context: University of Melbourne/Surgical Training.
Program: A high fidelity surgical simulator for ear surgery procedures has been developed. A 3D virtual model of the temporal bone (the bone behind the ear) is created from micro-CT scans and this is rendered and displayed using a 3D monitor. When viewed with 3D glasses an illusion of a 3D operating space is produced. Users interact with the rendered model of a temporal bone using two pen-like haptic devices (a drill and an irrigator) that provide force feedback to the user (e.g. the user can ‘feel’ differences in bone hardness). In addition to the sensation of touch, the immersive 3D environment provides the user with visual (e.g. bone dust, blood) and sound cues (e.g. drill speed).
In validation studies the simulator was found to be a convincing representation of temporal bone drilling and was an effective means of teaching both the surgical anatomy and the surgical approach.
Techniques from learning analytics and data mining are being used to allow the key elements of expert and novice performance to be characterised and to use these characterisations to provide real-time feedback to trainee surgeons while using the simulation.