Faculty Collaborate with MScBMC on Virtual Simulator for Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome Training

Jan 15, 2021

Person testing the simulator on a television screenAlexander Young via Association of Medical Illustrators Over the last few years, virtual reality has become a useful teaching tool in medical education, allowing trainees to experience different procedures in a digital environment. A new tool, the first of its kind, has been developed as an educational aid in the training required for treating Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) with fetoscopic laser ablation. 

The Twin-Twin Training Simulator was conceived and funded by Maternal-Fetal Medicine faculty members Dr. Rory Windrim, Professor, and Dr. Julia Kfouri, Assistant Professor, at Mount Sinai Hospital; designed and developed by Alexander Young as part of the Master of Science in Biomedical Communications (MScBMC) program, supervised by Professor Nick Woolridge and Professor Michael Corrin from the University of Toronto. The collaboration between the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and the MScBMC program was a strong and fulfilling partnership, and members involved with the Simulator hope to continue this partnership in future projects. 

The Simulator works to teach the requisite anatomical and procedural skills necessary for the procedure by allowing users to explore the uterine environment, inspect the placental surface, identify target anastomotic vessels, and perform virtual laser ablations. Real-time visual feedback is used to indicate user performance and a suite of variable settings can be used to modify and more accurately simulate the surgical environment. Designed for use in different learning contexts, the Simulator can be used with a mouse and keyboard, as well as a prototype motion controller that mimics an operative fetoscope.

In 2020, the project won Student Best of Show and an Award of Excellence in the Interactive Category for the AMI (Association of Medical Illustrators) Salon. The tool has also been submitted for publication after being used in the University of Toronto / Mount Sinai Hospital Fetal Therapy Simulation Course.

Learn more about this new tool via the simulator video.

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