EyeGuide introduces the first ever tandem visual surgical training system

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Two surgeons at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas USA used paired EyeGuide Mobile Trackers to document visually what they viewed as they carried out laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Dr S. Brooks (left), "expert" surgeon and Dr. A. Purtell (right), resident "novice" surgeon,  wearing paired EyeGuides, look on their respective monitors while doing surgery.

Dr S. Brooks (left), "expert" surgeon and Dr. A. Purtell (right), resident "novice" surgeon, wearing paired EyeGuides, look on their respective monitors while doing surgery.

Paired Visual Training with EyeGuide means we can be assured of having more skilled and well trained surgeons (approximating the experts) as they move on to their final years of residency training.

EyeGuide, maker of the Mobile Tracker for researchers, has deployed for the first time a Tandem Visual Surgical Training (TVST) system. Two surgeons at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas USA used paired EyeGuide Mobile Trackers to document visually what they viewed as they carried out laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

This marks the first time ever that what two surgeons, one expert and one novice, saw during an actual live surgery was collected and compared, demonstrating the capability of the EyeGuide Mobile Tracker for assisting surgeons not only in documenting what they see during surgeries, but also assisting them in training resident surgeons and medical student surgical trainees in best practices for visualizing and implementing correct steps during surgery.

The rationale for the TVST approach using combined EyeGuide Mobile Trackers centers on the “quiet eye” (QE) concept. Experts in activities, such as sports, which are highly dependent on effective visualization, will often have much better, concentrated focus than novices. In other words, before carrying out a critical task, such as hitting a baseball or performing the next step in a surgical procedure, the expert will subconsciously eliminate distraction and quiet the eye to focus vision on only that which is most important to be viewed for completing the task successfully. Novices, however, have more quick, unfocused (saccadic), or a less quiet eye, which leads to delayed execution if not also more error.

The expectation of TVST is that the novice surgeon’s quiet eye will evolve faster than it would through conventional training to match the expert surgeon’s quiet eye. Certainly this has been the case to date in sports when paired training was employed. By working in tandem with an expert and seeing what that expert sees during surgery and then comparing results after the fact that show differences and similarities between what the novice and expert viewed, the novice surgeon will learn faster what is important to view and not to view when performing surgical procedures. According to Dr. Benedicto Baronia, neurosurgeon and developer of the TVST System, “this means we can be assured of having more skilled and well trained surgeons (approximating the experts) as they move on to their final years of residency training.”

Baronia notes that “studies on visual tracking with surgical trainees or medical students in simulation modules have already shown encouraging results. The groups who undertook actual training and received cues on visual tracking from experts learned more and performed well as compared to those subjects exposed to the conventional method, that is, training without the use of visual tracking device.”

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If you’d like more information about this topic or would like to schedule an interview with Dr. Benedicto Baronia, please contact EyeGuide at 1-866-931-9418 or by email at press@eye.guide.

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Greg Gamel
EyeGuide
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