3D-printed model improves clinical assessment of surgeons on anatomy.


Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, 162 Heritage Medical Research Centre, 8440 112 St. NW., Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E1, Canada. [Email]


Performing surgical procedures often requires a surgeon to develop a skill to create 3-dimensional (3D) mental model on patient's anatomy. Question remains whether the touching on the 3D printed model can facilitate learning of patient anatomy than viewing the rendered virtual on-screen model. The printed and the virtual 3D model were developed from CT films taken from a 4-year-old girl, who had dysplasia of the hip in the left hip. Eleven subjects were called to report measures on six key anatomical features on the hips. The reporting time and the accuracy were compared between the two models, along with the gaze characteristics of subjects while inspecting the models. The variables were analysed using a 2 × 2 within subject ANOVA to examine the difference between viewing the models (on-screen vs. printed-out) and the side of the hip (right vs. left). Interacting with the printed 3D model required shorter times and yielded more accurate visual judgments than viewing the virtual models on most of the anatomical features. Subjects performed a fewer number of fixations but with a longer mean fixation duration when interacting the printed than inspecting the virtual on-screen 3D model. Results confirmed the value of the printed 3D model on improving the clinical judgement on patient anatomy. Confidence in collecting information from the physical world and the cross-model sensor integration may explain why participants performed better with the printed model compared to the virtual model.


Anatomy inspection,Clinical skill,Developmental dysplasia of hip (DDH),Printed 3D model,Spatial cognition,Surgery simulation,