Ultrasound-Guided Needle Insertion Simulator that Interacts with Live Ultrasound Images

Technology #15370

Provides Inherently Accurate Live Ultrasound Images to Account for Anatomical Differences and Anomalies

This ultrasound-guided needle insertion simulator is a non-invasive medical tool that interacts with actual, live ultrasound images. More realistic, applicable, and accessible ultrasound-guided simulations of needle insertions improve the learning experience of the user, greatly reducing the improper use of ultrasound and the amount of needle passes and movements inside the patient. Frequent needle passes and movements may put the patient at risk for mild complications, such as discomfort, as well as more serious complications, such as pneumothorax. The use of ultrasound in medicine is becoming the standard care for many medical procedures. The global portable ultrasound market is estimated to grow at an annual rate of 8.74 percent through 2019. In 2014, more ultrasound systems were sold than CT, MRI and X-Ray combined. In addition, procedures that utilize ultrasound range from fetal imaging to safe insertion and guidance of a needle inside a patient. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an ultrasound-guided medical tool insertion simulator that allows clinicians to practice ultrasound-guided needle insertions directly on a patient’s anatomy before the actual procedure. This insertion tool allows for both training and clinical use. Available simulators reference a library of pre-scanned and pre-recorded ultrasound images or use ultrasound machines to scan objects that are not the actual patient of the injection. These “fictitious” ultrasound images are not as realistic as actual, live ultrasound images and they do not account for anatomical differences and anomalies. This improvement has potential to meet the increasing demand for effective ultrasound medical tools.

Application

Ultrasound-guided needle insertion simulators for accurate training and clinical use

Advantages

  • Utilizes live ultrasound images, allowing for accurate training and clinical use of needle insertion
  • One mode combines a physical retractable needle with tracking sensor technology, giving the user the impression that they are actually guiding their needle through a real ultrasound image
  • A second mode uses virtual needle technology to turn mobile devices into a needle or medical tool emulator, optimizing convenience for clinicians
  • Allows the use of accessible devices already owned by the user, providing a simple and portable ultrasound experience

Technology

This ultrasound-guided needle insertion simulator tool uses a retractable needle or a needle emulator created with a mobile smart device to interact with live ultrasound images with a non-invasive format. The simulator addresses the issues of both teaching ultrasound to medical students and residents and allowing clinicians to practice ultrasound-guided needle insertions directly before the actual procedure. Improper use of ultrasound and lack of knowledge can increase the number of needle passes and movement inside a patient. These improper uses put patients at risk for mild complications, such as discomfort, to more serious complications, such as a pneumothorax. The value of the simulator is in its employment of live ultrasound on real anatomy, its use of highly accessible devices already owned by the user, and its ability to be as portable as a laptop or smart device app.