The System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality (STAR): A head-mounted display to improve surgical coaching and confidence in remote areas

Published in Surgery, 2020

Abstract:

Background: The surgical workforce particularly in rural regions needs novel approaches to reinforce the skills and confidence of health practitioners. Although conventional telementoring systems have proven beneficial to address this gap, the benefits of platforms of augmented reality-based telementoring in the coaching and confidence of medical personnel are yet to be evaluated. Methods: A total of 20 participants were guided by remote expert surgeons to perform leg fasciotomies on cadavers under one of two conditions: (1) telementoring (with our System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality) or (2) independently reviewing the procedure beforehand. Using the Individual Performance Score and the Weighted Individual Performance Score, two on-site, expert surgeons evaluated the participants. Postexperiment metrics included number of errors, procedure completion time, and self-reported confidence scores. A total of six objective measurements were obtained to describe the self-reported confidence scores and the overall quality of the coaching. Additional analyses were performed based on the participants’ expertise level. Results: Participants using the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality received 10% greater Weighted Individual Performance Score (P = .03) and performed 67% fewer errors (P = .04). Moreover, participants with lower surgical expertise that used the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality received 17% greater Individual Performance Score (P = .04), 32% greater Weighted Individual Performance Score (P < .01) and performed 92% fewer errors (P < .001). In addition, participants using the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality reported 25% more confidence in all evaluated aspects (P < .03). On average, participants using the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality received augmented reality guidance 19 times on average and received guidance for 47% of their total task completion time. Conclusion: Participants using the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality performed leg fasciotomies with fewer errors and received better performance scores. In addition, participants using the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality reported being more confident when performing fasciotomies under telementoring. Augmented Reality Head-Mounted Display–based telementoring successfully provided confidence and coaching to medical personnel.

Citation: Rojas-Muñoz E, Cabrera ME, Lin C, Andersen D, Popescu V, Anderson K, Zarzaur BL, Mullis B, Wachs JP. The System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality (STAR): A head-mounted display to improve surgical coaching and confidence in remote areas. Surgery. 2020 Jan 6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.surg.2019.11.008