Computer-controlled endoscopic performance assessment system
We have devised an advanced computer-controlled system (ADEPT) for the objective evaluation of endoscopic task performance. The system’s hardware consists of a dual gimbal mechanism that accepts a variety of 5.0-mm standard endoscopic instruments for manipulation in a precisely mapped and enclosed work space. The target object consists of a sprung base plate incorporating various tasks. It is covered by a sprung perforated transparent top plate that has to be moved and held in the correct position by the operator to gain access to the various tasks. Standard video endoscope equipment provides the visual interface between the operator and the target-instrument field. Different target modules can be used, and the level of task difficulty can be adjusted by varying the manipulation, elevation, and azimuth angles. The system’s software is designed to (a) prompt the surgeon with the information necessary to perform the task, (b) collect and collate data on performance during execution of specified tasks, and (c) save the data for future analysis. The system was alpha and beta tested to ensure that all functions operated correctly.