Can you improve your surgical skills, with an App?

Touch Surgery: Can you improve your surgical skills, with an App?

We know that having a stunning app is great, we work hard on releasing new simulations with better graphics than ever before, but we know that you can’t rely on looks alone to have a global impact on surgical skills. 

Over the past 2 years, we have been running an academic research program in collaboration with our institutional partners to demonstrate proof of the effectiveness of our app for real-life education of surgeons.  

We are very proud to share those resources with our new users, and those that have been with us since the beginning.

All simulators go through a process of validation, and although Touch Surgery is a different sort of training tool than the average simulator, we felt it would be a good exercise to subject the platform to the gold standard assessment that other simulators go through.

As well as some academic papers on cognitive surgical training (link 1, link 2), the latest study (link), published in the journal Injury by the MSK Lab at Imperial College London, looked at how novices using the femoral nailing simulation on Touch Surgery improved their cognitive performance over time.

In this study a multiple choice exam on femoral nailing was given to a novice group (medical students) and expert group (senior surgeons) to assess baseline knowledge. Novices scored on average between 1 and 11%, and experts scored between 89 and 95%.

 

The novices were then asked to progress through 6 cycles of learning and testing on the Touch Surgery platform. They were then retested on the MCQ exam to see how their levels of knowledge had improved.  We were able to show that after 6 learning cycles, novices improved their exam scores to between 90 and 98%, matching that of experts. Check out the paper for more information.

 

This study was important for us as it demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of learning on Touch Surgery.  Essentially the study showed that Touch Surgery was able to get the cognitive performance of a novice, up to the level of an expert surgeon within a few hours of training – all through a digital platform. When experts were asked  if they would expect a medical student to have a good understanding of a femoral nailing procedure by the end of a standard 8 week surgical rotation – the answer is always a resounding no.

Using TouchSurgery however, established that this was realizable in just a couple of hours.

Stay tuned for the next study… In the meantime, have a look at our past articles about 8 Tips surgeons wish they had known in their first resident year.

If you really can’t wait, here is a video of the author discussing the next study.