A novel multimodal platform for assessing surgical technical skills
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BACKGROUND: Established methods for assessing surgical performance face limitations. Global rating scales and procedure-specific checklists are resource intensive and rely on expert opinions. Alternatives that use technology to track hand movements, such as magnetic and optical tracking systems, are generally expensive and ill suited to the surgical environment. METHODS: The authors present a new platform that integrates a novel, low-cost optical tracking system, magnetic tracking technology and a videographic recording system to quantify surgical performance synchronously across all modalities. The validity of this platform was tested by examining its ability to differentiate between the performance of expert and novice participants on a basic surgical task. RESULTS: Each modality was able to differentiate between expert and novice participants, and metrics were well correlated across modalities. CONCLUSIONS: The authors have developed a platform for assessing surgical performance. It can operate in the absence of expert raters and has the potential to provide immediate feedback to trainees.
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