Virtual-reality (VR) simulation can serve as a platform to provide transfer of knowledge and skills for catheter-based coronary procedures. Presently, five VR simulators with X-ray simulation and catheter and wire tracking are available. These simulators can be used to train mandatory skills for coronary arteriography and coronary intervention. In conjunction with advanced-life-support mannequins, they can be used for team training and crisis resource management in the catheterization laboratory.
The success of simulation-based catheter training does not dependent only on the individual potential of the VR simulator but also on the underlying training concept as a whole. The selection of the simulator should be driven by the training curriculum and not vice versa. An experienced, enthusiastic, and motivated trainer, who is able and willing to use the simulator as a means of transfer of his knowledge and skills, is critical to the success of simulation-based training.
Continuing development of computer technology employing increasingly higher-resolution graphics, more realistic modeling of catheter and guidewire behavior, and a set-up close to reality will further improve the technical settings of simulation-based catheter training.
Nevertheless, albeit the initial experiences are promising, validation studies are mandatory to determine the ultimate role of this technology in interventional cardiology. Depending on the outcome of these studies, simulation-based catheter training may play a crucial role in the education of future cardiologists and their teams.
Balloon Catheter Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Force Feedback Chronic Total Occlusion Simulator Training
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