The aim of the research: Although laparoscopic techniques are common amongst the surgical procedures, the graduate and postgraduate education lacks an objective assessment system. The fundament of a successful education is a score system which can assess the abilities comparably and appropriately, and an environment which can simulate the reality. Apart from measuring time required for a given task (which is a well-known method), measuring the trajectory of the tip of the laparoscopic instrument is an objective attribute of surgical skills. The aim of the research is developing an objective training and assessment system using this time and the data from the trajectories.
Methods: The path to the present form of the device has led through several prototypes. The design of the training area and the placement of ports are according to the experiences of a real laparoscopic operation. A high precision tracking device has been developed to monitor the movement of the laparoscopic instrument. The measured data is processed real-time by a microcontroller, calculating the coordinates of the used instrument’s tip, along with the length of its path, the velocity and the acceleration. The processed data then passed to a personal computer for recording and further analysis. As the needed calculations are done by a separate unit, they are not affected by the resource consuming of running background processes on the computer.
Results: The system is suitable for graduate or postgraduate training. During the completion of the given tasks it can constantly record and process the measured data. The laparoscopic surgical skill can be assessed with greater accuracy with the recorded data compared to the commonly used methods. The motion tracking device is under a patent procedure.