The value of simulation in medical education and procedural skills training is well recognized. Despite this, many mannequin-based trainers are limited by the inability of the trainee to view the internal anatomical structures. This study evaluates the usability and feasibility of a first-person point-of-view–augmented reality (AR) trainer on needle insertion as a component of central venous catheter placement.Methods
Forty subjects, including medical students and anesthesiology residents and faculty, participated. Augmented reality glasses were provided through which the relevant internal anatomical landmarks were projected. After a practice period, participants were asked to place the needle in the mannequin without the benefit of the AR-projected internal anatomy. The ability of the trainees to correctly place the needle was documented. Participants also completed a short survey describing their perceptions of the AR technology.Results
Participants reported that the AR technology was realistic (77.5%) and that the ability to view the internal anatomy was helpful (92.5%). Furthermore, 85% and 82.1%, respectively, believed that the AR technology promoted learning and should be incorporated into medical training. The ability to successfully place the needle was similar between experienced and nonexperienced participants; however, less experienced participants were more likely to inadvertently puncture the carotid artery.Conclusions
Results of this pilot study demonstrated the usability and feasibility of AR technology as a potentially important adjunct to simulated medical skills training. Further development and evaluation of this innovative technology under a variety of simulated medical training settings would be an important next step.