CardioOp: an integrated approach to teleteaching in cardiac surgery.
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INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE: The complexity of cardiac surgery requires continuous training, education and information addressing different individuals: physicians (cardiac surgeons, residents, anaesthesiologists, cardiologists), medical students, perfusionists and patients. Efficacy and efficiency of education and training will likely be improved by the use of multimedia information systems. Nevertheless, computer-based education is facing some serious disadvantages: 1) multimedia productions require tremendous financial and time resources; 2) the obtained multimedia data are only usable for one specific target user group in one specific instructional context; 3) computer based learning programs often show deficiencies in the support of individual learning styles and in providing individual information adjusted to the learner's individual needs. In this paper we describe a computer-system, providing multiple re-use of multimedia-data in different instructional sceneries and providing flexible composition of content to different target user groups. TOOLS AND METHODS: The ZYX document model has been developed, allowing the modelling and flexible on-the-fly composition of multimedia fragments. It has been implemented as a DataBlade module into the object-relational database system Informix Dynamic Server and allows for presentation-neutral storage of multimedia content from the application domain, delivery and presentation of multimedia material, content based retrieval, re-use and composition of multimedia material for different instructional settings. Multimedia data stored in the repository, that can be processed and authored in terms of our identified needs is created by using a next generation authoring environment called CardioOP-Wizard. High-quality intra-operative video is recorded using a video-robot. Difficult surgical procedures are visualized with generic and CT-based 3D-animations. RESULTS: An on-line architecture for multiple re-use and flexible composition of media data has been established. The system contains the following instructional applications (prototypically implemented): a multimedia textbook on operative techniques, an interactive module for problem based-training, a module for creation and presentation of lectures and a module for patient information. Principles of cognitive psychology and knowledge management have been employed in the program. These instructional applications provide information ranging from basic knowledge at the beginner's level, procedural knowledge for the advanced level to implicit knowledge for the professional level. For media-annotation with meta-data a metainformation system, the CardioOP-Clas has been developed. The prototype focuses on aortocoronary bypass grafting and heart transplantation. CONCLUSION: The demonstrated system reflects an integrated approach in terms of information technology and teaching by means of multiple re-use and composition of stored media-items to the individual user and the chosen educational setting on different instructional levels.
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