The University of Florida is seeking companies interested in commercializing a mixed simulator technology especially suited for training in blind and guided medical procedures. This innovative teaching tool that uses augmented reality principles similar to the yellow first-down line on TV football games has the potential to improve patient safety. The technology seamlessly integrates numerous new exponential technologies, such as medical imaging, miniature 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) sensors smaller than a grain of rice and 3D printers (aka fast prototyping machines) to collocate (superpose, overlay or underlay) physical and virtual systems that are anatomically correct replicas of individual humans.The Institute of Medicine has estimated that medical errors kill between 44,000 and 98,000 people annually in the United States. This exceeds deaths from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer and AIDS combined. Nearly one in seven Medicare beneficiaries discharged from hospitals in 2008 were harmed by medical mistakes during their stay, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report. Many of these adverse events were attributed to substandard care and could have been prevented if healthcare professionals had been properly trained. Verbal and written instruction, while necessary and worthwhile, cannot take the place of hands-on training. Alternatively, practicing on human patients is unconscionable. This invention allows instructors to visualize and consistently score trainee performance, while students can rehearse and self-debrief without endangering human lives.
ApplicationMixed simulators with anatomically correct physical and virtual components that combine real-time 3D visualization with tracked instruments, recording and playback, and automated and consistent scoring algorithms to facilitate training of clinicians in procedural skills
- Allows trainees to practice psychomotor and cognitive skills and learn from mistakes in a controlled environment, sparing actual patients the discomfort and risk from having novices practice on them
- Physical and virtual anatomy is completely authentic, an exact replica of any individual human used as the model
- Allows trainees and instructors to view in real-time a 3D color visualization of the procedure
- Can decrease errors and potentially ensuing malpractice lawsuits
- Trainees directly manipulate and steer actual (tracked) instruments instead of using a mediated interface like pointers and haptic pens