Use of Smartglasses for Augmented Reality Based Surgical Training

Michael Russo, MD, Ulysses Rosas, BA, Homero Rivas, MD, MBA. Stanford University School of Medicine.

Objective of Technology: Surgical simulation has emerged as a useful adjunct to surgical training. Learners have used virtual reality platforms and models to simulate the operating room, both of which can lack realism and take place in the simulation lab. Development of effective teaching methods of high educational value is needed to ensure efficient surgical training. This wearable augmented reality technology offers the learner high fidelity education that responds to the learners’ movements, and can take place in both the simulation lab and operating room.

Description of Technology: Smartglasses are a small lightweight wearable computer with an optical head mounted display (OHMD), camera, gyroscope, accelerometer, microphone and headphones. The smartglasses chosen for this study were Glass(TM) by Google (Mountain View, CA). This technology enables the wearer to interact with the device using voice recognition and see data in the corner of their visual field on the display. Unique software was designed to first target the area of interest and overlay a high-resolution model of the task or target anatomy. This model responds to movement of the users head using the augmented reality capabilities of the smartglasses. Step-by-step procedural videos are then overlaid directly onto the target anatomy to further immerse the user in an intuitive learning environment.  

Conclusions/Future Use: Procedural software is currently being validated for use in the smartglasses utilizing augmented reality technology. The adoption of this education tool will be introduced into the simulation lab as well as in the operating room at a single institution. An IRB approved study to assess the efficacy of this new technology, with user feedback, will then be undertaken. In the future, this technology can become a regularly used tool in surgical training and allow for high value education in the simulation lab and further enhance the intra-operative experience to increase the overall educational value of surgical training.

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