Needle Thoracostomy Training Tools with Haptic Feedback

Problem Statement

Needle thoracostomy is a life-saving procedure due to its ability to decompress tension pneumothorax which consists of air trapped between the lungs and chest wall. If untreated, this condition almost always leads to death as the trapped air obstructs function of both the heart and lungs. However, the task itself is extremely sensitive due to being in proximity of vital organs and can worsen patient morbidity under an untrained operator. This risk further increases when considering that a pneumothorax requires immediate attention and thus inexperienced individuals often end up performing it. Thus, we are developing a vibrotactile glove to simulate needle thoracostomy through haptic touch to remotely train those who may be inexperienced such as first responders and new medical practitioners. The glove will provide a mentee with vibrational cues from a mentor to guide them in successfully completing the task. Currently, we are designing and evaluating various ways the mentee receives haptic feedback to ensure cues are intuitive as well as building a prototype which remotely streams position data.