Decoding Robotic Surgery Skills

Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC are looking to technology to help deconstruct expert surgeons' robotic surgery skills so they can create an objective, standardized way to train the next generation of surgeons. Using a data recorder plugged into a robotic surgery system, the team analyzed expert and novice surgeons' movements during the reconstruction step of robotic radical prostatectomy, a common surgery for prostate cancer. The data helped the team decode surgical skills, develop a needle-driving gesture classification system and create a training tutorial. The results of their study will appear in the October 2018 issue of The Journal of Urology.

"Although robotic surgery is a widely adopted minimally invasive option for treating prostate cancer, standardized training for it doesn't exist yet," says the study's corresponding author, Andrew Hung, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School. "In order to create a methodical, streamlined training tutorial for this main reconstruction step of the prostate surgery, we relied on automated performance metrics and observation to objectively measure surgeon performance."

Using both video and movement data recorded from 70 surgeries, the study found that experts outperformed novices in completion time, instrument movement efficiency and camera manipulation. Experts also had fewer needle-driving attempts and less tissue trauma.

The researchers were also able to identify 14 common needle-driving gestures, which were classified as combinations of forehand, backhand, flush-hand, overhand or underhand. Compared to standardized gestures, random sequences of gestures were associated with lower efficiency, more needle-driving attempts and more tissue trauma.

The data were then used to develop a tutorial that broke the complex surgical step into smaller, discrete steps.

"While there is no single perfect way to do a perfect operation, creating a standardized method for robotic surgery training provides surgeons a common training ground," Hung says.

Hung and his colleagues are currently testing the efficacy of the tutorial with a group of medical students in the research lab at the Keck School. The team is hopeful that their approach to developing this training tutorial could one day be applied to any procedure in any kind of robotic operation.

Robotic radical prostatectomy accounts for 87 percent of prostate cancer surgeries in the United States.

Chen J, Oh PJ, Cheng N, Shah A, Montez J, Jarc A, Guo L, Gill IS, Hung AJ.
Use of Automated Performance Metrics to Measure Surgeon Performance during Robotic Vesicourethral Anastomosis and Methodical Development of a Training Tutorial.
J Urol. 2018 May 22. pii: S0022-5347(18)43237-5. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2018.05.080.

Most Popular Now

NHS and Patients to Benefit from New Par…

IMS MAXIMS and Secure Exchange Solutions have announced a partnership to offer mobile, secure and cost-effective provider-to-provider and provider-to-patient communications to NHS organisations, GP practices and patients.

Bayer is Taking Collaboration with Healt…

As a pioneer when it comes to collaborating with digital health start-ups, Bayer is now taking the next step. Instead of one-off startup programs, it is now focusing on collaborating...

International Master's in Digital Health

The Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Medical Informatics (MMI) at European Campus Rottal-Inn (ECRI) in Pfarrkirchen - a branch of the Deggendorf University of Applied Sciences (THD - Technische Hochschule...

New Antibiotics Are Desperately Needed: …

As the threat of antibiotic resistance looms, microbiologists aren’t the only ones thinking up new solutions. James Zou, PhD, assistant professor of biomedical data science at Stanford, has applied machine...

Digital Medicine: The Opportunities and …

9 - 11 April 2019, Berlin, Germany. Be it preventive healthcare for dementia using intuitive apps, anonymous hospital hygiene inspections using IoT sensors, or VR applications that let hemiplegic patients live...

Highland Marketing Forms Alliance with E…

An alliance between Highland Marketing and Experiential HealthTech will be announced at this year's Digital Health Rewired, with both companies exhibiting from stand B14. Highland Marketing is a full-service marketing...

Google Research Shows How AI can Make Op…

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, diagnosing disease faster and potentially with greater accuracy than physicians, some have suggested that technology may soon replace tasks that physicians currently perform. But...

Virtual Reality could be Used to Treat A…

Playing games in virtual reality (VR) could be a key tool in treating people with neurological disorders such as autism, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease. The technology, according to a recent...

Open Call SC1-HCC-02-2019: Support for t…

In the past years several open service platforms for Active and Healthy Ageing domains have been developed, originating from the medical, independent living, and IoT domain. These platforms aim at...

The Moore Blatch Silicon Cup Opens for E…

This year's Moore Blatch Silicon Cup has been launched and is now open for IT companies to enter. The event takes place over 26 - 27 September on the Isle...

MEDICA 2019: Clear Focus on Future Topic…

18 - 21 November 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany. As a result of the final phase of exhibitor registrations for the world’s leading medical trade fare MEDICA 2019 in Düsseldorf, one thing is...