Background: Confidence is a key tool for many physicians to perform their jobs, specifically surgeons who are often put on the spot. Recent research on general surgeons found that 77.4% of residents were less confident when compared to their peers, adding on to the two-thirds of studies showing negative results on surgical confidence. When analyzing the data, results show confidence increases as certain acts become more routine. As medical training has advanced over the years, simulation training technology that involve medical schools and academic hospitals have recently started to adapt the use of mannequins, which doctors could enter in certain complications correlated with respiratory, cardiac, and other numerous factors. With new technology such as laparoscopic or robotic assisted surgery, practice is needed to perfect these methods. This is a common problem for medical surgeons due to the lack of practice of operations from medical training prior or from unique cases.

Methods: By creating a surgical simulation system for technologically advanced surgeries, medical students, residents, and attendings will be able to practice myriad of surgeries, which would be programmed into a Virtual Reality device and pressurized simulation system. Two systems will be created in order to replicate laparoscopic and robotic assisted surgeries. Surgeons will have the option to rewind their surgeries if an error were made during their surgical simulation, while also being recorded so physicians may review their work. In addition, physicians can take 3D CT/MRI images of a patient and import them into the system to practice on specific cases before on a real life patient by using an EchoPixel, a 3D advanced medical imaging system allows physicians to view MRI and CT scans interactively. With realistic surgical simulations as well as the ability to coordinate aspects that replicate your patient, the result is a decrease in surgical complications.

Results: This system would provide a realistic simulation, as if an individual is actually performing the surgery. As tougher cases present themselves, physicians could plan their methods on how to approach a specific patients condition. This would allow physicians to be more efficient for different types of surgeries. With more practice, surgeons will have increased levels of success and efficiency, resulting in patient and hospital satisfaction. Residents and medical students will be able to practice and be tested for certain board exams more effectively.

Discussion: By using a combination of new technology such as a VR device, a pressurized simulation system, and 3D medical imaging, simulations will replicate the environment and operations that would happen in a real OR. This will help the current worldwide surgical training problem by making surgeons more confident when it comes to unique and difficult cases. As medical training has been technologically advancing, this will assist in certain situations such as board exams for surgeons where physicians will be able to be tested by performing a simulated operation set up by the ABS. Overall, this system will be a revolutionary tool that would change surgical medical education and patient care around the world.

 

ROBOTIC TECHNOLOGY & VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS

Author: Austin Truong

Status: Project Concept