A Novel Smartphone-Based Laparoscopic Training Platform

T Mizota, MD, G Enani, MBBS, Y Watanabe, MD, M C Vassiliou, MD, A Madani, MD, E Bilgic, S Paudel, MD, T Shichinohe, MD, S Hirano, MD, Y Kurashima, MD. Department of Gastroenterological Surgery II, Hokkaido University Graduate School, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, Steinberg-Bernstein Centre for Minimally Invasive Surgery and Innovation, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Objective of the Technology

Despite the widespread availability of various training platforms for laparoscopic training, their use by trainees may be limited due to high costs and limited accessibility. With today’s ubiquitous use of smartphones, a smartphone-based laparoscopic simulator could dedicate those limitations. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel and flexible laparoscopic trainer that utilizes smartphones and to evaluate its training value.

Technology Description and Method

The folding trainer’s framework consists of transparent plates with mobile port sites that provide considerable flexibility to position the laparoscopic instruments, allowing the user to simulate a multitude of possible trocar positions such as single port surgery. The smartphone is placed on a flexible grasper or a transparent base that can accommodate any mobile device and is used to perform tasks at various distances from the trocar sites and various zooming powers. The camera image of the smartphone can be displayed wirelessly using WiFi on a laptop computer screen (Figure). The use of a dedicated camera, energy source, and light source are eliminated using this model to decrease the total cost and improve practicality. Participants were asked to perform the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery’s peg transfer and intracorporeal suturing tasks using the smatphone-based system and to complete a Likert scale-based questionnaire on the training value of the trainer.

Results

17 participants from two institutions participated. 16 (94%) participants own smartphones and 15 (88%) participants reported feeling either “strongly agree” or ” agree” with using the smartphone-based platform to improve their laparoscopic skills.

Conclusions

A smartphone-based laparoscopic training platform is a practical tool for training. Its versatility to accommodate various smartphones, tablet computers, and operating systems makes it available for widespread use at the user’s own pace.

View Poster

« Return to SAGES 2014 abstract archive