Surgeon-engineer team produce training software for robot-assisted surgery

Jun 01, 2010

Two Buffalo scientists have paired up to create technology that has the potential to revolutionize surgical training worldwide, developing the first procedure-based, hands-on surgical training software. Their patent-pending system, Hands-On Surgical Training (HOST), guides surgeons through real-time operative procedures using the Robotic Surgical Simulator (RoSS) interface.

Khurshid Guru, MD, a staff physician in Urology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), and Thenkurussi "Kesh" Kesavadas, PhD, director of the Virtual Reality Laboratory and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University at Buffalo (UB), created RoSS as a way to help surgeons hone their skills in robot-assisted surgery so that they've logged hours of training before they perform a particular surgical procedure. The HOST takes this concept further, immersing the surgeon in a surgical environment using automation technology and an interactive checklist-based process.

"It's as close to operating as you can get outside the operating room," says Dr. Guru, who is also director of RPCI's Center for . "HOST literally holds the surgeon's hands."

The HOST software system takes surgeons through surgical steps, prompting and guiding them through the critical stages of an operation before proceeding to the next step. A metrics tool evaluates user performance so that surgeons can track their progress. That step-by-step prompting system is unique in the field of computer-assisted surgical learning tools, as is HOST's basis in observational learning. It's an extremely effective system for training surgeons on emerging robot-assisted surgical techniques, says Dr. Guru.

"Even though it uses these new computer-aided tools, our system is rooted in mentored, hands-on surgical training, just like the traditional training model," he says. "They both come back to responding to cues and the opportunity to observe master surgeons."

"Building on our past collaborations," notes Dr. Kesavadas, "we developed a process for capturing the cognitive and motor skills of a trained surgeon and developed a virtual surgical experience for other surgeons to train on. This new system teaches the steps by guiding users in actually performing a surgery in tandem with the master surgeon —outside the operating room. "

Kesavadas and researchers from the UB Virtual Reality Lab are leaders in the development of haptic technologies that bring a sense of touch to virtual reality (VR). They have developed advanced VR applications for medical, surgical and educational applications.

At present, the HOST software system has been programmed to demonstrate two of the most common procedures within the field of robot-assisted surgery: prostatectomy and hysterectomy. Applications that would expand the HOST software for use in other types of surgeries are in development. "This concept, which we've been working on since 2007 at UB and Roswell Park, has been licensed to Simulated Surgical Systems LLC (SSS) and will be ready for implementation with RoSS by the end of the year," says Dr. Kesavadas, Chief Technology Officer of the Williamsville, NY company. Dr. Guru is SSS' Chief Medical Officer.

Explore further: Amgen misses 1Q views as higher costs cut profit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers develop better training for keyhole surgery

Mar 31, 2009

Researcher Sanne Botden has improved the training methods for surgeons who perform keyhole operations. At present, a relatively large number of errors are made during surgery of this kind. She defends her ...

Recommended for you

Amgen misses 1Q views as higher costs cut profit

Apr 22, 2014

Despite higher sales, biotech drugmaker Amgen's first-quarter profit fell 25 percent as production and research costs rose sharply, while the year-ago quarter enjoyed a tax benefit. The company badly missed ...

Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

Apr 22, 2014

Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45.6 billion.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Man among first in US to get 'bionic eye' (Update)

A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure ...