Surgical Training Tools for Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Problem Statement

Congenital heart disease (CHD) has a substantial burden as about 1 million children each year are born with CHD. To treat these babies, an open-heart surgery is necessary, and these procedures can be one of the most specialized techniques, requiring effective and highly trained professionals. While there are some highly successful programs in pediatric heart surgery in high-income areas, training the next generation of surgeons and allowing treatment opportunities for areas that lack these programs is a challenge that is faced globally. Additionally, surgical training tools are currently rapidly emerging in different specialties of surgery because of their role in creating skilled surgeons with less time and resources. Working with two surgeon collaborators Dr. Carlos Mery and Dr. Ziv Beckerman, trained specialists in pediatric cardiac and congenital surgery, this project will attempt to create surgical training tools that allow residents and trainees interested in this specialty to get more experience with the hand movements and motions needed during the operation. The system will involve a device that provides trainees tactile/haptic feedback assisting them to produce the movements comparable to those of the experienced surgeons.

Current Progress

Currently, after a couple of meetings with the clinical collaborators, an initial prototype, which involves accelerometer and gyroscopes to track the motion of the user using instruments utilized during surgery and provides haptic feedback to alert the user if their motions are out of the optimal ranges. The team is planning to observe procedures to get more information on the movements of the surgeons and get realistic tools utilized during the procedures.