PURPOSE: The open-source Perk Tutor training platform has been shown to improve trainee performance in
interventions that require ultrasound guidance. Our goal was to determine if needle coordination of medical
trainees can be improved by training with Perk Tutor compared to training with ultrasound only.
METHODS: Twenty participants with no previous experience were randomized into two groups; the Perk
Tutor group and the Control group. The Perk Tutor group had access to the 3D visualization while the Control
group used ultrasound only during their training. Performance was analyzed, measured and compared by Perk
Tutor with regards to four needle coordination metrics. None of the groups had access to 3D visualization during
RESULTS: The needle tracking measurements showed, for the Perk Tutor group, lower average distance
between the needle tip and ultrasound (1.2 [0.9 – 2.8] mm vs 2.7 [2.3 – 4.0] mm, respectively; P = 0.023) and
lower maximum distance between the needle tip and ultrasound (2.2 [1.9 – 3.2] mm vs 4.6 [3.9 – 6.2] mm,
respectively; P = 0.013). There was no significant difference in average needle to ultrasound plane angle and
maximum needle to ultrasound plane distance. All participants were successful in the procedure.
CONCLUSION: The Perk Tutor group had significantly reduced distance from the needle tip to the ultrasound
plane. Training with Perk Tutor can improve trainees’ needle and ultrasound coordination.
Hillary Lia, Zsuzsanna Keri, Matthew S. Holden, Vinyas Harish, Christopher H. Mitchell, Tamas Ungi, and Gabor Fichtinger, "Training with Perk Tutor improves ultrasound-guided in-plane needle insertion skill," Proc. SPIE 10135, Medical Imaging 2017: Image-Guided Procedures, Robotic Interventions, and Modeling, 101350T (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 15, 2017; Published: 3 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255840.
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