Verefi Technologies Inc. releases new laparoscopic surgical trainer for collaborative and competitive training for minimally invasive surgery

Elizabethtown 17 April 2006Verefi Technologies Inc of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, USA, developer of EndoTower and RapidFire/SmartTutor, is launching Head2Head, its new trainer for developing co-operative skills in a competitive environment, at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons' meeting in Dallas, Texas, USA on April 26-29, 2006. Head2Head maximally engages the learners with competitive and collaborative tasks that are scored individually by module for the speed, accuracy, and tool efficiency of each trainee. Key skills learned include touching, grasping, placing, and holding objects in the virtual environment.

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Head2Head's five competitive modules include:

  • OneOnOne, in which the first trainee to touch a red or yellow ball with a grasper of the same colour wins a point and the first trainee with 10 points wins the round;
  • TwoOnOne, in which the first trainee to touch a red or yellow ball with both of their graspers at the same time scores a point and the first trainee with 10 points wins the round;
  • GravityFills, in which trainees pick up balls scattered in the virtual environment and quickly place them in cylinders; when the cylinders are full, the trainee with the most balls wins;
  • TicTacPro, in which trainees must pick up and place balls into a tic tac toe grid , trying to get three in a row before their opponent does;
  • TicTacNo, which offers an added component to TicTacPro, in that the trainee can shrink their opponent's balls to remove them from the grid by holding a grasper tip on the targeted ball.

In addition to competition, Head2Head also encourages teamwork with three collaborative tasks in which trainees must work co-operatively to accomplish the task. These modules include:

  • HandShake, in which the trainee grasps one end of a barbell and places and holds the other end within a cube. The second trainee must grasp the end while it is within the cube;
  • HandShrink, in which the trainee grasps one end of a barbell and places and holds the other end steady inside a cube. The second trainee must hold their grasper tip steady on the party of the barbell within the cube for several seconds until it shrinks away;
  • Trisect, in which both trainees must work together to manoeuver the target - 3 balls connected by 2 elastic cords - so that they are holding the red balls with red graspers, the yellow ball with the yellow grasper, and stretching the cords taut so they can be snipped with the cutting tool.

The scoring system for the competitive modules of Head2Head is based upon increasing the score for the trainee with the most wins in a set of several rounds of the module. The trainee with fewer wins receives no points. For the collaborative modules, a single score is assigned based upon completion of as many of the given tasks as possible within the allotted time frame of 90-180 seconds.


Leslie Versweyveld

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