What concepts are you currently researching in this area?
Korb: We currently study the seamless integration of surgical training into both medical device development and everyday surgical practice. The goal of our research is to document surgical workflows to make them available and accessible for workshops and budding surgeons who are inexperienced in robotic surgery. We are currently in talks with potentially interested parties pertaining to robotics. There is already a beta version of the software program, which is currently being tested on the webserver. It is called mySebastian and was developed as part of the "Sensor Based Surgery Training - Integrated system and Analytics (SeBaSTIAn)" project.
How does the software work?
Korb: This is how the solution works: Once a surgeon has created an interesting case study video, the goal is to make it available in a database in a format that is easy to understand and structured. The idea is to break down all cases and thus the entire training program based on surgical procedures into a simple, short series of workflow steps, which are then linked together in the background. Common surgical procedures always vary, which is why complications and unique features of the surgeon and the patient must always be taken into account. It makes it easier to manage complex systems like robots if this data is accessible at the push of a button in the instruction phase, in the operating room or during training. Since this training system then acts as a kind of a digital tutor that’s always available on-site, we refer to mySebastian as an integrated training system. As part of our research project, we are now gradually adding new functions to where we will record the robot data right in the operating room. For this, we are already collaborating with several partners on interface concepts.
Another aspect of our development is to connect training with documentation and quality assurance. Hospitals collect a lot of data that is not being used for training because it is too complex. The question is which data can be used for pedagogical purposes, addressing beginner, intermediate and advanced competency levels. If educators were to join the conversation when it comes to documentation systems right from the start, all recorded data could also be used for training.