Augmented reality simulator for ultrasound-guided percutaneous renal access

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International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery





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© 2020, CARS. Purpose: Traditional training for percutaneous renal access (PCA) relies on apprenticeship, which raises concerns about patient safety, limited training opportunities, and inconsistent quality of feedback. In this study, we proposed the development of a novel augmented reality (AR) simulator for ultrasound (US)-guided PCA and evaluated its validity and efficacy as a teaching tool. Methods: Our AR simulator allows the user to practice PCA on a silicone phantom using a tracked needle and US probe emulator under the guidance of simulated US on a tablet screen. 6 Expert and 24 novice participants were recruited to evaluate the efficacy of our simulator. Results: Experts highly rated the realism and usefulness of our simulator, reflected by the average face validity score of 4.39 and content validity score of 4.53 on a 5-point Likert scale. Comparisons with a Mann–Whitney U test revealed significant differences (p< 0.05) in performances between the experts and novices on 6 out of 7 evaluation metrics, demonstrating strong construct validity. Furthermore, a paired T-test indicated significant performance improvements (p< 0.05) of the novices in both objective and subjective evaluation after training with our simulator. Conclusion: Our cost-effective, flexible, and easily customizable AR training simulator can provide opportunities for trainees to acquire basic skills of US-guided PCA in a safe and stress-free environment. The effectiveness of our simulator is demonstrated through strong face, content, and construct validity, indicating its value as a novel training tool.

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