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Design and implementation of medical training simulators


This paper discusses the design issues and implementation details of building a medical training simulator. Example projects that have been undertaken by the Visualization and Medical Graphics group at Bangor University and our collaborators are used to illustrate the points made. A detailed case study is then presented of a virtual environment designed to train the Seldinger Technique, a common procedure in interventional radiology. The paper will introduce a medical practitioner to the technology behind a medical virtual environment. It will also provide an engineer with an overview of many of the issues that need to be considered when undertaking to build such an application. The paper ends with the author’s views on future developments in this exciting domain.

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The work presented in this paper is the result of contributions from many talented colleagues and research students, and multi-disciplinary collaborators. It has been a great pleasure to work with them all. Visualization and Medical Graphics Group at Bangor: Franck P Vidal, Chris J Hughes, Ik Soo Lim, Serban Pop, Rhys Thomas, Oli Buckley, Llyr ap Cynydd and Tim Coles. CRaIVE network: Derek A Gould, Sheena J Johnson, Helen Woolnough, Carrie Hunt, Fernando Bello, Vincent Luboz, Pierre-Frederic Villard, Andrew E Healey, Jonathan Evans, Amrita Sinha, Roger Phillips, James W Ward, Yan Zhang, Sandhya Pisharody. Martin Crawshaw, Ken W Brodlie, Andrew Bulpit, Richard Holbrey, Yi Song, Nicholas Chalmers, Thien How and David Kessel. Darwin Caldwell, Italian Institute of Technology. Web3D Consortium Medical Working Group: M. Aratow, J. Couch, D. Evestedt, A.D. Hudson, N. Polys, R.F. Puk, A. Ray, K. Victor, Q. Wang work described in this paper has been funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the UK National Institute for Health Research HTD programme, the European Union and the US Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center.

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Correspondence to Nigel W. John.

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N. W. John is the 12th recipient of the MMVR Satava Award, 2006.

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John, N.W. Design and implementation of medical training simulators. Virtual Reality 12, 269–279 (2008).

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  • Medical virtual environments
  • Haptics
  • 3D displays
  • Graphics hardware
  • Seldinger technique
  • Augmented reality