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Smart Scalpel Helps Doctors Hone Surgical Skills

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Arturas Straizys from the University of Edinburgh's School of Informatics demonstrates the smart scalpel in the lab.

The low-cost device consists of a scalpel connected to a sensor-loaded circuit board fitted inside its handle.

Credit: Rhona Crawford/University of Edinburgh

A smart scalpel developed by researchers at the U.K.'s University of Edinburgh measures the amount of force applied during surgical procedures and could facilitate surgical training.

The scalpel features a sensor-loaded circuit board in the handle, and the data it collects as force is applied is analyzed by a machine learning model.

In tests using the device to make elliptical incisions, the built-in sensors were found to assess surgical techniques as effectively as traditional visual assessments by experienced practitioners. Said the University of Edinburgh's Ram Ramamoorthy, "This system will enable the development of new systems for skill assessment and training, and could one day lead to the creation of automated surgical devices that can assist surgical teams."

From The University of Edinburgh (U.K.)
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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