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October 19, 2019
10/19/2019 1:15:00 PM - 10/19/2019 3:15:00 PM
Room WA2 - Area C
Using Modular Principles to Efficiently Design and Build New Simulators for Different Healthcare Procedures
Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., Andre Bigos, No Degree, David Lizdas, B.S., William T. Johnson, B.S.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida , United States
Disclosures: S. Lampotang: None.A. Bigos: None.D. Lizdas: None.W.T. Johnson: None.
Introduction: Simulators for learning various procedures often share common elements resulting in different development groups doing similar, redundant work. As an example, simulators for TEE, TTE, FAST and venous access include tracked ultrasound probes as common elements. Redundant work results in proprietary technology (leading to incompatibility, lack of interoperability and large inventories) and inefficient (higher) development costs that raises acquisition cost, thus reducing accessibility and the benefits reaped from simulation-based training. In the auto and other industries, modular design is an established practice like sharing engines, transmissions, chassis among different car models. Simulation technology may become more affordable if it likewise embraces modular design. We describe our implementation of a SMARTS (System of Modular Augmented Reality Tracking Simulators) rapid development platform for designing and building modular, mixed reality procedural simulators. Methods: A modular stand provides mechanical indexing (registration) of a discrete block representing the anatomy relevant to the simulated procedure. A software development kit (SDK) integrated with the modular stand and a set of hand-held tracked tools such as a needle and ultrasound probe facilitates software development. The SMARTS SDK developed in Unity Technologies’ Unity game engine consists of features to facilitate the development of procedural simulations. This includes Arduino microcontroller and Ascension Technology Corporation’s 6DOF tracking connectivity along with software tools such as a replayer feature, user interface templates, 3D model visualization of the virtual counterparts of physical elements, scoring monitors, cognitive aids, common error messages, and Experience API compatibility. This gives the user a foundation to begin development and focus on simulation content. Results: The SMARTS SDK (URL: has been applied to develop simulators within our internal development team and externally. Internally, it has been used to develop a ventriculostomy (EVD) simulator, a loss-of-resistance trainer, and an instructor-less central venous access (CVA) simulator. Externally, it is being used by undergraduate BME students to build a TRUS and transperineal prostate biopsy trainer. A group of undergraduate volunteers has also used the SMARTS SDK to start development on an intravenous access (IV) trainer. The SMARTS SDK will also be used to create simulations for pterygopalatine fossa blocks (PTFB), lumbar/chronic pain blocks, and chest tube insertions. Discussion: We created a modular simulator development platform to facilitate our obligation to internally design, build and deliver 5 different procedural simulators as part of a DoD grant. The SDK has since been used successfully by others outside our development group. The SDK is a work in progress and the intent is that it will continue to be a living tool. While the SDK will never be final and completely bug-free, it now has sufficient functionality and benefits that we are comfortable making the simulation community aware of the SMARTS SDK.$$graphic_{0CAAF915-ACCF-4788-AC2A-11BAAB1C3BDC}$$$$graphic_{F28F50E5-2F93-4DD8-B80D-79DD0B68F0F7}$$
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