Friday, March 1, 2013

Video Games Very Effective at Training Surgeons - Often Better than Simulators

My opinion:  I would think that training on simulators would help the surgeons perform better, but I don't think I understood that outside, semi-related factors could make a strong influence, as well.  I remember watching a colonoscopy a couple years back when I was volunteering - the doctor did seem to navigate the colon as if it were a video game.  Indeed, as a character in a game can turn around, there was a camera in the device which could turn and expose all angles of the colon, and this was controlled by a joystick.  I've also heard that some games, such as tetris, are educational and improves thinking processes.  Perhaps some of these games affect the brain differently than other activities (like the surgery simulator).  I think researchers need to go in this direction to discover where these benefits are originating.  Could these games improve performance in other industries, like civil engineering?  Feel free to comment.

Full article at:

Playing Nintendo's Wii found to enhance surgeons' skills

Blog entry: February 28, 2013, 10:50 am     |     Author: SCOTT SUTTELL

Cleveland's Simbionix USA Corp. played a role in an experiment that showed Nintendo's Wii gaming console improved the performance of surgeons learning operations involving tiny cameras and instruments.
The study suggests the Wii “could have a role to play in educating doctors,” according to this story from Bloomberg.
“In a trial among 42 post-graduate surgeons in Italy, those who were asked to play Wii games such as Tennis and a 3D battle game an hour a day, five days a week for four weeks did better at 13 out of 16 measures on a surgical simulator than those who didn't play the games,” the news service reports, summarizing the work of researchers from Sapienza University of Rome.

Trainee surgeons “commonly hone their keyhole surgery skills on computer simulators such as those made by” Simbionix, Bloomberg notes. However, “the expense of the machines, combined with the difficulty of a technique that involves maneuvering tiny operating tools through very small incisions, as well as increased risks of lawsuits, have raised the need for training outside the operating theater.”

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