Virtual Learning of Surgical Procedures

Source: The Guardian (UK), Feb 2013

This is Touch Surgery, a new iPhone and iPad app designed to help trainee surgeons learn the steps of their operations. Described as a “mobile surgical simulator”, it is not to be confused with the fun-for-all-the-family game Operation. … Touch Surgery takes it to a whole new level: every step of each procedure is animated in graphic 3D detail. It’s not for the squeamish.

The modules have been developed on the basis of cognitive task analysis, breaking down each operation into a series of steps and decision points, and using learning by interaction to make the process stick. A test function also allows you to assess your ability and track your progress as you work through the procedures.

“There is a saying that decision is much more important than incision,” says Nehme. “Before you cut, you need to be sure of your decision and what comes next. It’s about 75% decisionmaking and 25% technical skill. The interactive learning process helps you identify risks – at what point should you be aware of this nerve, when should you be aware of this artery.”

As well as developing further modules, the team is looking to build an online interactive network, allowing surgeons to exchange tips and tricks on certain procedures.

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