Use of computer graphics simulation for teaching of flexible sigmoidoscopy
The concept of simulation training in endoscopy is now well-established. The systems currently under development employ either computer graphics simulation or interactive video technology; each has its strengths and weaknesses. A flexible sigmoidoscopy training device has been designed which uses graphic routines - such as object oriented programming and double buffering - in entirely new ways. These programming techniques compensate for the limitations of currently available desk-top microcomputers. By boosting existing computer 'horsepower' with next generation coprocessors and sophisticated graphics tools such as intensity interpolation (Gouraud shading), the realism of computer simulation of flexible sigmoidoscopy is being greatly enhanced. The computer program has teaching and scoring capabilities, making it a truly interactive system. Use has been made of this ability to record, grade and store each trainee encounter in computer memory as part of a multi-center, prospective trial of simulation training being conducted currently in the USA. A new input device, a dummy endoscope, has been designed that allows application of variable resistance to the insertion tube. This greatly enhances tactile feedback, such as resistance during looping. If carefully designed trials show that computer simulation is an attractive and effective training tool, it is expected that this technology will evolve rapidly and be made widely available to trainee endoscopists.
Baillie, J; Jowell, P; Evangelou, H; Bickel, W; Cotton, P
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