Surgeons Sharpen Skills with New Training Simulator

KaleidoscopeA groundbreaking computerised simulator currently being tested at hospitals in France will enable trained and trainee orthopaedic surgeons to sharpen their skills without having to actually do so on patients during "live" operations.

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts through a project called Technology Enhanced Learning for Orthopaedic Surgery (TELEOS), the simulator softens the boundaries between theory and practice, taking vocational training into a new dimension. TELEOS for instance enables trainees to place a pin in a patient's pelvis - to rectify problems caused by disease or breakage - just by using a computer mouse. The pin is manipulated with the mouse at the computer screen, it can be placed, oriented and pushed in the body, thus exactly simulating the way the surgeon acts in the operating room, as this intervention is taking place without opening the body.

TELEOS project team comprises surgeons, computer and education scientists, didacticians and psychologists.

Normally, for trained and trainee surgeons, experience would have to be gathered in a "live" environment, within an operating theatre, working on the living object, strongly depending on the supervision of a long-experienced surgeon. Trials with TELEOS have shown that a trainee who has experience practising techniques with the simulator can expect less intervention when coming to grips with real life situations in the operating theatre.

Currently, the TELEOS learning environment is being intensively tested to prove its added educational value. After this testing period, it is planned to be introduced in hospitals in Grenoble, France at the end of this year. The project team is confident that the benefits of the system will be recognised by the surgeons and trainee surgeons who will use it.

Lucile Vadcard, a team member from MeTAH, Grenoble France says, "The more people able to see the benefit of TELEOS, the better. We will keep our ears to the ground in terms of what is going on in research in education technology, so we can stay ahead. Kaleidoscope, the European Network of Excellence for Technology Enhanced Learning, will help us to do this."

For further information about the TELEOS project please visit http://www.noe-kaleidoscope.org/pub/case_studies/CNRS_teleos.html.

About Kaleidoscope
Kaleidoscope is the European research network shaping the scientific evolution of technology-enhanced learning. It integrates the leading research teams in the field, who work collaboratively across educational, computer and social sciences to transform the quality and reach of the learning experience. Kaleidoscope fosters innovation and creativity through the development of new technologies, methodologies and concepts, defining the challenges and solutions for interdisciplinary research. Kaleidoscope's goal is to inform knowledge transfer between education, industry, and the wider society. Through its scientific programme, Kaleidoscope is helping to build a dynamic knowledge-based economy for Europe, engaging with social, economic and political stakeholders at all levels. Kaleidoscope is supported by the European Community under the Information Society Technologies priority of the 6th Framework Programme. www.noe-kaleidoscope.org

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