University of Iowa researchers create orthopedic surgery simulator: 4 insights

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

Iowa City-based researchers at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and UI College of Engineering aim to improve the orthopedic surgery training process with a portable orthopedic surgery simulator that uses small cameras and synthetic bones to mimic surgery and provide residents with immediate feedback.

Here are four things to know.


1. HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality awarded Geb Thomas, PhD, and Don Anderson, PhD, a five-year, $2 million grant to assess surgical performance improvement at Midwest university hospitals with the device, as well as to implement training on the simulator at national fracture courses.


2. According to Dr. Thomas, a professor in the College of Engineering, "our simulator came out of this idea of improving training and building skills even before a resident gets into the OR," said Dr. Thomas, a professor in the College of Engineering.


3. The research team is assessing if a resident's ability to perform a procedure improves as a result of working with the simulator. This entails studying fluoroscopic images to quantitatively determine the accuracy of the wire placement and then comparing residents who participated in the training with those who have not.


4. According to Dr. Andersen, the research team has trained residents at the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.


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