Latex gloves with built-in sensors were developed at the University of Western Sydney. The device will help in the training of future surgeons. Testing of the technology began at a Liverpool hospital.
At the level of each phalanx of the thumb and middle finger in the glove, there is an inertial measurement unit, a special sensor that tracks movements. All units are connected by a flexible flat electrical cable. The data collected by the sensors is sent to the smartphone using a Bluetooth transmitter.
Such a system registers hand movements in great detail. Trainees and their mentors receive useful data to evaluate and improve performance in complex surgical procedures.
“Recording movements alone is not enough,” says Gough Louis, one of the developers of the system. “Our approach is based on creating a catalog of records of experienced surgeons who have performed the same manipulations.”
Based on a comparison of the student’s actions with the records catalog, the mobile application reports errors and generates recommendations.
“Despite the fact that over the past century surgical methods have advanced significantly, training is still mainly based on observation. Mentors look over the shoulders of interns to evaluate their work,” Louis says.
The developers note that full-fledged educational simulators are usually expensive. Therefore, not all medical and educational centers can afford them. The low cost of the sensors makes the technology available for use in various hospitals and educational institutions.