This technology is a system for the assessment and training of minimally invasive surgical skills (MIS).


Computer-Aided Surgical Trainer (CAST)

Tech ID: UA12-113

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a modern surgical technique requiring small incisions or no incisions. This technology is a system for the assessment and training of minimally invasive surgical skills (MIS). The apparatus of the invention comprises a set of physical building units, sensors and actuators to embody a variety of training tasks. The sensors gather performance data on real-time, which is processed by a microcontroller and sent to an assessment module. The assessment module classifies the levels of expertise shown by the trainees based on a unique set of performance metrics and compares quantitative and qualitative performance results of a trainee against the performance results of other trainees registered in a web-based community. The guidance module provides visual guidance to the trainee on how to perform a task in the most optimal way.

Minimally invasive surgeries are performed with an endoscope and several long, thin instruments. The drawbacks associated are large incisions, operative blood loss, post-operative pain are limited, and recovery time is shorter compared to traditional open surgery. Unfortunately, from a surgeon’s perspective, laparoscopic surgery is more challenging than conventional surgery because of the restricted vision, hand–eye coordination problems, limited working space and lack of tactile sensation. These issues make MIS a difficult skill for medical students and residents to master.

Key Benefits

- Accurate surgical instrument position tracking
- The use of real surgical instruments; ability to calculate performance metrics and processing these metrics to provide qualitative and quantitative performance feedback
- Benchmarking performance profiles against external criteria elicited from a diversified pool of expert surgeons and trainees


- Train medical professionals who need to acquire skills that are requisite in minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures
- Allows the trainees to practice fundamental and complex skills such as grasping, cutting, suturing and other tasks as defined by a supervisor

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