The LiverSurgeryTrainer: Training of computer-based planning in liver resection surgery
Purpose The training of liver surgeons depends on local conditions such as the specialization of the clinic, the spectrum of cases, and the instructing surgeons. We present the LiverSurgeryTrainer a software application to support the training of prospective surgeons in preoperative decision making. Methods The LiverSurgeryTrainer visualizes radiological images, volumetric information, and interactive 3D models of patients' liver anatomy. In addition, it provides special interaction techniques and tools to perform individual resections on the training data. To assess the correctness of decisions made by the learner, comments and decisions from experienced liver surgeons are provided for each case. To complete the case, additional material concerning the actual surgery (e.g., videos, reports) is presented. The application workflow is derived from a scenario-based design process and is based on an instructional design model. Results The LiverSurgeryTrainer was evaluated i n several steps. A formative usability evaluation identified workflow and user interface flaws that were resolved in further development process. A summative evaluation shows the improvement of the LiverSurgeryTrainer in nearly all analyzed aspects. First results of a learning success evaluation show that learners experience a learning effect. Conclusion Our training system allows surgeons to train procedures and interaction techniques for computer-based planning of liver interventions. The evaluations showed acceptance and usability.