It might be OK to see a trainee tag affixed to the chest of someone serving you a burger, but quite another to see the same tag on the chest of your surgeon as you’re put under before an operation. Of course that’s not the reality with trainee surgeons getting practice alongside more experienced surgeons and on cadavers. But cadavers don’t grow on trees – thankfully – and practicing on live patients exposes them to some risk. Now two Buffalo scientists have paired up to create a new procedure-based, hands-on surgical training software system that promises to deliver effective training in emerging robot-assisted surgical techniques.
Known as Hands-On Surgical Training (HOST), the patent-pending system was developed by Khurshid Guru, MD, a staff physician in Urology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas, PhD, director of the Virtual Reality Laboratory and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB).
Using the Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS) interface, the system prompts and guides trainees in real-time through the critical stages of an operation before proceeding to the next step. A metrics tool evaluates user performance so that surgeons can track their progress. That step-by-step prompting system is unique in the field of computer-assisted surgical learning tools, as is HOST’s basis in observational learning.
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