Hand and Eye Gaze Analysis for the Objective Assessment of Open Surgical Dexterity

  • Author / Creator
    Byrns, Simon C
  • Objective assessment of technical skill remains a challenging task. Paper based evaluations completed by expert assessors have been criticized for not accurately or consistently describing a surgeons’ technical proficiency due to inter-observer variability and subjective bias. In the laparoscopic or minimally invasive surgical domain, technology assisted evaluation has been shown to provide a reliable and objective measure of performance based on motion analysis, focusing on instrument movement and gestures. Aided by the miniaturization of motion tracking technology, this thesis focuses on the development of novel techniques for acquiring synchronized hand motion and eye tracking data in open surgical procedures. An overview of motor learning theory is provided as a basis for segmenting or decomposing surgical movements into constituent gestures. An empirical study investigating the learning effects of a visuospatial intensive video game as a substitute for traditional practice was performed, and showed that video gaming, can in some conditions, enhance or reinforce traditional simulator based practice. Existing motion capture techniques are reviewed along with an analysis of computational models used in high level motion analysis. A second empirical study was completed to investigate the application of one of these computer models to hand motion captured via an optical marker-less tracking device. Hidden Markov Models applied to the motion data was able to discriminate between participants emulating different levels of dexterity. Finally, the development of a technology-assisted assessment system for evaluating a surgeons’ performance based on synchronized hand motion, eye gaze and force application in open surgical techniques is presented. Several empirical studies designed to validate this iii system are described. The novel aspects of this system include the ability to capture eye gaze in a 3-dimensional environment as well as highly detailed hand motion based on a surgical glove system where 6D electromagnetic sensors are embedded. The design and assembly of this apparatus is described including an overview of the software required for achieving spatial and temporal coherence. The thesis concludes with a summary of findings and a brief discussion of planned experiments necessary to validate the clinical utility of a surgical motion and eye tracking system for both objective assessment and training purposes.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Experimental Surgery
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Fathimani, Kamran (Surgery)
    • Churchill, Thomas (Surgery)
    • Boulanger, Pierre (Computing Science)