PURPOSE: Gaining proficiency in technical skills involving specific hand motions is prevalent across all disciplines of medicine and particularly relevant in learning surgical skills such as knot tying. We propose a new form of self-directed learning where a pair of holographic hands is projected in front of the trainee using the Microsoft HoloLens and guides them through learning various basic hand motions relevant to surgery and medicine. This study looks at the feasibility and effectiveness of using holographic hands as a skills training modality for learning hand motions compared to the traditional methods of apprenticeship and video-based learning. METHODS: 9 participants were recruited and each learned 6 different hand motions from 3 different modalities (video, apprenticeship, HoloLens). Results of successful completion and feedback on effectiveness was obtained through a questionnaire. RESULTS: Participants had a considerable preference for learning from HoloLens and apprenticeship and a higher success rate of learning hand motions compared to video-based learning. Furthermore, learning with holographic hands was shown to be comparable to apprenticeship in terms of both effectiveness and success rate. However, more participants still selected apprenticeship as a preferred learning method compared to HoloLens. CONCLUSION: This initial pilot study shows promising results for using holographic hands as a new effective form of self-directed apprenticeship learning that can be applied to learning a wide variety of skills requiring hand motions in medicine. Work continues toward implementing this technology in knot tying and suture tutoring modules in our undergraduate medical curriculum.
PURPOSE: Virtual reality and simulation training improve skill acquisition by allowing trainees the opportunity to deliberately practice procedures in a safe environment. The purpose of this study was to find if there was a difference in the amount of improvement the Perk Tutor, an augmented reality training tool, provided depending on the complexity of the procedure. METHODS: We conducted two sets of spinal procedure experiments with different levels of complexity with regards to instrument handling and mental reconstruction – the lumbar puncture and the facet joint injection. In both experiments subjects were randomized into two groups, Control or Perk Tutor. They were guided through a tutorial, given practice attempts with or without Perk Tutor, followed by testing without Perk Tutor augmentation. RESULTS: The Perk Tutor significantly improved trainee outcomes in the facet joint experiment, while the Perk Tutor and the control group performed comparably in the lumbar puncture experiment. CONCLUSION: Perk Tutor and other augmented training systems may be more beneficial for more complex skills that require mental reconstruction of 2-dimensional images or non-palpable anatomy.