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Dr. Karen Mann Catalyst Grant — Recipients

2018


Tomas J. Saun, BSc(hon), MD, MASc(c)

Improved video recording of open surgery with a body-mounted motorized gimbal-stabilized camera system

Tomas J. Saun, BSc(hon), MD, MASc(c)
Tomas J. Saun, BSc(hon), MD, MASc(c)
Resident Physician, University of Toronto

Abstract

Intraoperative video recording has become a fundamental technology in modern-day surgery. It serves a myriad of uses, including better surgical training, continuing performance enhancement and quality improvement initiatives. This was our team’s impetus for developing and refining the Operating Room Black Box – an internationally used platform that analyzes intraoperative video recordings, identifies errors and provides feedback to surgeons. While this platform has already been shown to reduce technical errors in laparoscopic surgery, translation for use in open surgery, which comprises the majority of surgical procedures performed today, has proved challenging. This is mainly due to our inability to capture high quality intraoperative video of open surgery, which unlike laparoscopic surgery does not already have high-resolution cameras integrated into the surgical equipment.

The goal of this project is to develop a prototype camera system optimized for filming open surgery and to benchmark it against existing technologies. The prototype borrows from the rapidly evolving unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) industry where significant advances in camera stabilization technology have been made. Objective testing of the camera system involves recording simulated surgical procedures with the prototype device, as well as the two most commonly used camera configurations: the head-mounted action camera and the light handle-mounted camera. The data metrics used for comparison were generated from the limitations of previously described systems and include motion, obstruction, sharpness and brightness. The prototype system will also be trialed by surgeons in the real operating room. A subjective rating of their experience using the device, as well as the quality of the video captured, will be collected.

Technological innovation is absolutely critical to fulfil the unmet need for better video capture of open surgery. Following development and testing, this technology will serve as an indispensable tool for surgical education from the beginning of training well into ongoing professional practice.

This work is important to medical education because…
Intraoperative video recording has become a fundamental technology in modern-day surgery, and serves a myriad of uses, including better surgical training, continuing performance enhancement, and quality improvement initiatives. Unfortunately, in open surgery, we do not have the appropriate technology to reliably and routinely capture high-quality intraoperative video. This work, therefore, aims to develop a better camera system that is optimized for filming open surgery and then benchmark it against existing technology. Following development and testing, this technology will serve as an indispensable tool for surgical education from the beginning of training well into ongoing professional practice.