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VR Surgical Simulation for training: simulator design, optimisation and assessment

Final Report Summary - VRSURGICALSIMULATION (VR Surgical Simulation for training: simulator design, optimisation and assessment)

Virtual reality (VR) surgical simulators are complex to design and validate, requiring contributions from different disciplines, such as engineering, medicine, and educational psychology.

The main research and training objectives have been attained during this fellowship. First of all, we created, under the supervision of some of the most renowned arthroscopists currently in the world, two education and training programmes for shoulder and knee arthroscopy using VR.

Thanks to a fruitful collaboration with the industry, the programmes were implemented as a new module within the commercially available virtual reality simulator, insightArthroVR (GMV, S.A.) and followed by 43 participants. Results of the produced learning effect will be presented in a couple of articles (in preparation) entitled 'The learning effect of virtual reality shoulder arthroscopy training' and 'The learning effect of virtual reality knee arthroscopy training'.

We then carried out experiments involving and testing the training programmes, designed a global rating scale to assess arthroscopic surgeons, and studied the face, construct, and concurrent validity of the insightArthroVR surgical simulator. We also analysed different criteria to determine the level of arthroscopic experience. The results are relevant (currently we have three papers in preparation) and contribute to the standardisation of a VR arthroscopy curriculum.

With respect to the research technical objectives, we worked with CRAIVE (Collaborators in Radiological Interventional Virtual Environments), an international interdisciplinary consortium, with the aim of progressing in the development of algorithms for VR simulators. More specifically, we worked on multi-layer haptic feedback, supervising a computing MSc student at Imperial College, and a Spanish undergraduate student within the Modelling and Virtual Reality research group in Spain. We produced two reports, one based on geometric algorithms 'Virtual Needle Insertion Simulator - Multilayer haptic feedback', and the other based on physically simulated algorithms 'Physically based Multilayer haptic feedback'.

We also arranged for a second Spanish undergraduate student to carry out a stay of two months at Imperial College as part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), working on deformation and topology modification of human tissues, co-supervised another UROP student working on haptics for training basic surgical skills, and an Imperial College MSc computing science student, who implemented a physically-based algorithm to simulate ultrasound scanning (Virtual Needle Insertion Simulator - Ultrasound realism). An article to present the results of this work at a technical conference in virtual reality medical simulation is under preparation.

Collaborating with a Spanish research group, Dr Bayona completed the book chapter entitled 'Implementing Virtual Reality in the Healthcare Sector', as the first author. The book, 'Virtual Technologies for Business and Industrial Applications: Innovative and Synergistic Approaches' has been published and disseminated world-wide. The training objectives were fully satisfied. Dr Bayona participated in a number of courses and seminars from Post Doctoral Development Centre orientated to enhance her general research skills and foster her personal abilities. She succeeded in finishing the MEd in Surgical Education programme (90 ECTS) during her fellowship.

To sum up, Dr Bayona's IEF experience was very enriching, effective and productive. As a result, she will be pursuing new research lines and opportunities within her own research group, and continue the collaboration with IC throughout her research academic career.