Surgical Technology Integration with Tools for Cognitive Human Factors

Surgical Technology Integration with Tools for Cognitive Human Factors (STITCH)

W. Brent Seales Ph.D. (Vis Center)

Melody Carswell Ph.D. (Vis Center)

Dr. Stephen Stup (University of Kentucky Medicine)
U.S. Army Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center

The need for accurate assessment in surgical training has become even more apparent with the development of new surgical technologies, many of which have transformed methods of treatment for both the patient and the surgeon.

The introduction of new technology such as robotics of “plug and play” with closed-loop control into the surgeon’s art likewise risks increasing danger to the patient or practitioner by introducing complex technology that may confound the goal of simplification or increased safety being sought.

The long-term goal of this research is to build an integrated surgical technology environment designed for the continuous monitoring of task performance, with a particular focus on the including of important but currently overlooked cognitive measures.

The STITCH project is a continuation of an ongoing study to develop and test new technologies that will make the training and practice of minimally invasive and technology assisted surgery safer and more reliable for both the patient and the surgeon. This project is developing and assessing new technology that concentrates on three major research thrusts, cognitive ergonomics metrics, multi-modal imaging and on-demand registration and plug and play framework.

The STITCH project will continue to develop a specification, design, and implementation of an integrated surgical training and assessment framework and will provide assessment results for specific cognitive measures, including validity and predictive studies. These results will be useful for implementing improvements in training methods that seek to sue valid cognitive measures as part of the assessment strategy.

The STITCH project has been funded by the military. The military has a long-term interest in training metrics and in sophisticated tools that can be reliably and successfully employed by non-specialists who engage in proper training. The military also has a strong interest in integrative technologies.