Today, medical students are training to become surgeons by practicing suturing on pigs’ feet and oranges. These approaches are risky and expensive. Researchers at Texas A&M University campuses in Doha, Qatar and College Station, contracted with SimInsights to join a 3-year long innovative project that aims to develop a video game for surgical suturing training. Other participants included faculty from University of Rome in Italy and Cornell Weill Medical School. We are building a 3D environment for a simulation and game based learning, using Unity3D. At the core of this game is an advanced mathematical model of surgical threads that is physically accurate, computationally efficient (real-time) and stable. These attributes are essential for a training simulator and this work represents the state of the art in this area. SimInsights developed a 3D simulation environment that can be extended to support authoring of task scenarios for practice as well as assessment. Future work will involve development of a commercially viable product that includes virtual reality and haptic devices.
- A safe alternative to traditional surgical training.
- More tightly integrated didactic content and assessment.
- More engaging learning experience.
- Possible to compare training experience with expert performance.
- High fidelity physics model of thin thread.
- Unity3D based game like environment.
- Potential to integrate with haptic devices such as gloves.