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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(4): e054310, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774959

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Population ageing, the rise of chronic diseases and the emergence of new viruses are some of the factors that contribute to an increasing share of gross domestic product dedicated to health spending. COVID-19 has shown that nursing staff represents the critical part of hospitalisation. Technological developments in robotics and artificial intelligence can significantly reduce costs and lead to improvements in many hospital processes. The proposed study aims to assess expectations, attitudes and ethical acceptability regarding the integration of socially assistive humanoid robots into hospitalised care workflow from patients' and healthcare professionals' perspectives and to compare them with the results of similar studies. METHODS/DESIGN: The study is designed as a cross-sectional survey, which will include three previously validated questionnaires, the Technology-Specific Expectation Scale (TSES), the Ethical Acceptability Scale (EAS) and the Negative Attitudes towards Robots Scale (NARS). The employees of a regional clinical centre will be asked to participate via an electronic survey and respond to TSES and EAS questionaries. Patients will respond to TSES and NARS questionaries. The survey will be conducted online. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the study was obtained by the Medical Ethics Commission of the University Medical Center Maribor. Results will be published in a relevant scientific journal and communicated to participants and relevant institutions through dissemination activities and the ecosystem of the Horizon 2020 funded project HosmartAI (grant no. 101016834). ETHICAL APPROVAL DATE: 06 May 2021. ESTIMATED START OF THE STUDY: December 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Artificial Intelligence , Attitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Ecosystem , Humans , Motivation , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
J Synchrotron Radiat ; 29(Pt 2): 549-554, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1730788

ABSTRACT

Data-driven approaches in materials science demand the collection of large amounts of data on the target materials at synchrotron beamlines. To accurately gather suitable experimental data, it is essential to establish fully automated measurement systems to reduce the workload of the beamline staff. Moreover, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the necessity of automated and/or remote measurements at synchrotron beamlines. Here, the installation of a new sample changer combined with a high-temperature furnace and a fully automated alignment system on beamline BL04B2 at SPring-8 is reported. The system allows X-ray total scattering measurements of up to 21 samples at different temperatures (from room temperature to 1200°C) to be conducted without any human assistance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Synchrotrons , Temperature , X-Rays
3.
J Vis Exp ; (180)2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715855

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the recent SARS-CoV-2 global health crisis introduced key challenges for epidemiological research and clinical testing. Characterized by a high rate of transmission and low mortality, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated accurate and efficient diagnostic testing, particularly in closed populations such as residential universities. Initial availability of nucleic acid testing, like nasopharyngeal swabs, was limited due to supply chain pressure which also delayed reporting of test results. Saliva-based reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) testing has shown to be comparable in sensitivity and specificity to other testing methods, and saliva collection is less physically invasive to participants. Consequently, we developed a multiplex RT-qPCR diagnostic assay for population surveillance of Clemson University and the surrounding community. The assay utilized open-source liquid handling robots and thermocyclers instead of complex clinical automation systems to optimize workflow and system flexibility. Automation of saliva-based RT-qPCR enables rapid and accurate detection of a wide range of viral RNA concentrations for both large- and small-scale testing demands. The average turnaround for the automated system was < 9 h for 95% of samples and < 24 h for 99% of samples. The cost for a single test was $2.80 when all reagents were purchased in bulk quantities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Humans , Nasopharynx , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saliva/chemistry , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/methods
4.
Sensors (Basel) ; 22(4)2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715641

ABSTRACT

Digital twin (DT) is an emerging key technology that enables sophisticated interaction between physical objects and their virtual replicas, with applications in almost all engineering fields. Although it has recently gained significant attraction in both industry and academia, so far it has no unanimously adopted and established definition. One may therefore come across many definitions of what DT is and how to create it. DT can be designed for an existing process and help us to improve it. Another possible approach is to create the DT for a brand new device. In this case, it can reveal how the system would behave in given conditions or when controlled. One of purposes of a DT is to support the commissioning of devices. So far, recognized and used techniques to make the commissioning more effective are virtual commissioning and hybrid commissioning. In this article, we present a concept of hybrid virtual commissioning. This concept aims to point out the possibility to use real devices already at the stage of virtual commissioning. It is introduced in a practical case study of a robotic manipulator with machine vision controlled with a programmable logic controller in a pick-and-place application. This study presents the benefits that stem from the proposed approach and also details when it is convenient to use it.


Subject(s)
Robotic Surgical Procedures , Robotics , Industry , Technology
5.
Nurse Educ ; 47(2): E39-E42, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672408

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Telepresence robots provide real-time audio, video, and mobility features, allowing faculty and students to engage in learning experiences without being physically present. PROBLEM: With multiple students and faculty members needing to quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a flexible learning environment was essential. APPROACH: The telepresence robots were used as an innovative approach for both faculty and students to engage in learning experiences offered in a variety of settings. OUTCOME: Feedback was obtained from faculty and students about the use of and satisfaction with telepresence robots. The robots were easy to use and posed only a few technological challenges, which were easily overcome. CONCLUSIONS: Telepresence robots were effective tools in overcoming teaching and learning barriers caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The telepresence robots have many applications, including use in clinical and community settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Students, Nursing , Faculty, Nursing , Humans , Nursing Education Research , Pandemics , Personal Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Students
6.
Bioprocess Biosyst Eng ; 45(3): 503-514, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627214

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has had severe consequences for health and the global economy. To control the transmission, there is an urgent demand for early diagnosis and treatment in the general population. In the present study, an automatic system for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis is designed and built to deliver high specification, high sensitivity, and high throughput with minimal workforce involvement. The system, set up with cross-priming amplification (CPA) rather than conventional reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), was evaluated using more than 1000 real-world samples for direct comparison. This fully automated robotic system performed SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid-based diagnosis with 192 samples in under 180 min at 100 copies per reaction in a "specimen in data out" manner. This throughput translates to a daily screening capacity of 800-1000 in an assembly-line manner with limited workforce involvement. The sensitivity of this device could be further improved using a CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats)-based assay, which opens the door to mixed samples, potentially include SARS-CoV-2 variants screening in extensively scaled testing for fighting COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Algorithms , Biomedical Engineering/instrumentation , Biomedical Engineering/methods , Biomedical Engineering/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Equipment Design , High-Throughput Screening Assays/instrumentation , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , High-Throughput Screening Assays/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/instrumentation , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Robotics/instrumentation , Robotics/methods , Robotics/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Systems Analysis
7.
Curr Opin Psychiatry ; 34(3): 277-286, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599453

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Direct face-to-face interview between a psychiatrist and a patient is crucial in psychiatric evaluation, however, such traditional interviews are becoming difficult to conduct because of the infection risk in the COVID-19 era. As telepsychiatry, video interviews using internet are suggested to be useful to evaluate and assist individuals with mental disorders. However, some patients especially with social phobia, depression, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) hesitate to use even such face-to-face-like tools. Communication robots have been proposed as future assistant tools for such patients. Herein, we summarize recent advancements in robot psychiatry, and propose the benefits of communication robots in psychiatric evaluation. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent studies have suggested that communication robots are effective in assisting people with ASD. As a pilot trial, we herein conducted semi-structured interviews to evaluate depression and hikikomori, a form of pathological social withdrawal, using a communication robot and a psychiatrist, respectively. There was almost identical evaluation between the two. Interestingly, a person with hikikomori answered that the robot was easier to disclose. SUMMARY: Robots can reduce the burden of human resources and the infection risk in the COVID-19 era. Robot interview is expected to be implemented for future evaluation system in psychiatry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communication , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Psychiatry , Robotics , Humans , Psychiatry/trends , Robotics/trends
8.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(24)2021 Dec 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596846

ABSTRACT

Cleaning is one of the fundamental tasks with prime importance given in our day-to-day life. Moreover, the importance of cleaning drives the research efforts towards bringing leading edge technologies, including robotics, into the cleaning domain. However, an effective method to assess the quality of cleaning is an equally important research problem to be addressed. The primary footstep towards addressing the fundamental question of "How clean is clean" is addressed using an autonomous cleaning-auditing robot that audits the cleanliness of a given area. This research work focuses on a novel reinforcement learning-based experience-driven dirt exploration strategy for a cleaning-auditing robot. The proposed approach uses proximal policy approximation (PPO) based on-policy learning method to generate waypoints and sampling decisions to explore the probable dirt accumulation regions in a given area. The policy network is trained in multiple environments with simulated dirt patterns. Experiment trials have been conducted to validate the trained policy in both simulated and real-world environments using an in-house developed cleaning audit robot called BELUGA.


Subject(s)
Robotics
9.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(24)2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580511

ABSTRACT

This work introduces a new socially assistive robot termed MARIA T21 (meaning "Mobile Autonomous Robot for Interaction with Autistics", with the addition of the acronym T21, meaning "Trisomy 21", which is used to designate individuals with Down syndrome). This new robot is used in psychomotor therapies for children with Down syndrome (contributing to improve their proprioception, postural balance, and gait) as well as in psychosocial and cognitive therapies for children with autism spectrum disorder. The robot uses, as a novelty, an embedded mini-video projector able to project Serious Games on the floor or tables to make already-established therapies funnier to these children, thus creating a motivating and facilitating effect for both children and therapists. The Serious Games were developed in Python through the library Pygame, considering theoretical bases of behavioral psychology for these children, which are integrated into the robot through the robot operating system (ROS). Encouraging results from the child-robot interaction are shown, according to outcomes obtained from the application of the Goal Attainment Scale. Regarding the Serious Games, they were considered suitable based on both the "Guidelines for Game Design of Serious Games for Children" and the "Evaluation of the Psychological Bases" used during the games' development. Thus, this pilot study seeks to demonstrate that the use of a robot as a therapeutic tool together with the concept of Serious Games is an innovative and promising tool to help health professionals in conducting therapies with children with autistic spectrum disorder and Down syndrome. Due to health issues imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sample of children was limited to eight children (one child with typical development, one with Trisomy 21, both female, and six children with ASD, one girl and five boys), from 4 to 9 years of age. For the non-typically developing children, the inclusion criterion was the existence of a conclusive diagnosis and fulfillment of at least 1 year of therapy. The protocol was carried out in an infant psychotherapy room with three video cameras, supervised by a group of researchers and a therapist. The experiments were separated into four steps: The first stage was composed of a robot introduction followed by an approximation between robot and child to establish eye contact and assess proxemics and interaction between child/robot. In the second stage, the robot projected Serious Games on the floor, and emitted verbal commands, seeking to evaluate the child's susceptibility to perform the proposed tasks. In the third stage, the games were performed for a certain time, with the robot sending messages of positive reinforcement to encourage the child to accomplish the game. Finally, in the fourth stage, the robot finished the games and said goodbye to the child, using messages aiming to build a closer relationship with the child.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , COVID-19 , Down Syndrome , Robotics , Autism Spectrum Disorder/therapy , Down Syndrome/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Healthc Manage Forum ; 35(1): 11-16, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571651

ABSTRACT

The use of robotics is becoming widespread in healthcare. However, little is known about how robotics can affect the relationship with patients during an emergency or how it impacts clinicians in their organization and work. As a hospital responding to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic "ASST dei Sette Laghi" (A7L) in Varese, Italy, had to react quickly to protect its staff from infection while coping with high budgetary pressure as prices of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) increased rapidly. In response, it introduced six semi-autonomous robots to mediate interactions between staff and patients. Thanks to the cooperation of multiple departments, A7L implemented the solution in less than 10 weeks. It reduced risks to staff and outlay for PPE. However, the characteristics of the robots affected staff's perceptions. This case study reviews critical issues faced by A7L in introducing these devices and recommendations for the path forward.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Infect Dis ; 225(4): 587-592, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569705

ABSTRACT

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) since 2019 has made mask-wearing, physical distancing, hygiene, and disinfection complementary measures to control virus transmission. Especially for health facilities, we evaluated the efficacy of an UV-C autonomous robot to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 desiccated on potentially contaminated surfaces. ASSUM (autonomous sanitary sterilization ultraviolet machine) robot was used in an experimental box simulating a hospital intensive care unit room. Desiccated SARS-CoV-2 samples were exposed to UV-C in 2 independent runs of 5, 12, and 20 minutes. Residual virus was eluted from surfaces and viral titration was carried out in Vero E6 cells. ASSUM inactivated SARS-CoV-2 by ≥ 99.91% to ≥ 99.99% titer reduction with 12 minutes or longer of UV-C exposure and onwards and a minimum distance of 100cm between the device and the SARS-CoV-2 desiccated samples. This study demonstrates that ASSUM UV-C device is able to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within a few minutes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Sterilization/methods , Ultraviolet Rays , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Hospitals , Humans
12.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2021: 1588-1592, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566241

ABSTRACT

Previous works have shown the efficacy of mechanical stimulation by applying pressure and vibration on muscle rehabilitation. Additionally, a temperature increase can improve both muscle performance and blood circulation during therapies. These modalities of treatment are commonly applied separately in patients with moderate disuse-induced muscle atrophy. In this paper, we propose the design of a novel medical device that synergistically integrates the function of i) elastomeric pneumatic actuators to apply focused orthogonal pressure, ii) vibratory motors to generate localized vibration and iii) carbon fibre heaters for a temperature increase. In particular, computational simulations were performed to characterize the mechanical behaviour of different pneumatic actuator geometries and their predicted advantages in comparison to previous designs. The integration of the three functionalities of the device and preliminary simulations results showcase its potential for improving therapy efficacy, while also being compact, lightweight, and comfortable, which would ease its implementation in rehabilitation programs.Clinical relevance- Disuse-induced muscle atrophy and related cardiovascular problems can lead to physical impairment and significantly affect patient independence. The surge in the number of hospitalized and bedridden patients related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) brings about a predicted increase in the incidence of myopathies and muscle weakness. To attend the growing demand, technological aids for more efficient physical therapies will need to be developed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Medicine , Robotics , Humans , Muscles , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2021: 4757-4760, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566233

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused the mortality worldwide and the use of swab sampling is a common way of screening and diagnosis. To combat respiratory infectious diseases and assist sampling, robots have been utilized and shown promising potentials. Nonetheless, a safe, patient-friendly, and low-cost swabbing system would be crucial for the practical implementation of robots in hospitals or inspection stations. In this study, we proposed two recyclable and cost-efficient end-effector designs that can be equipped at the distal end of a robot to passively regulate or actively sense the force exerted onto patients. One way is to introduce passive compliant mechanisms with soft material to increase the flexibility of the swabbing system, while the other way is utilizing a force-sensing gripper with embedded optoelectronic sensors to actively sense the force or torque. The proposed designs were modelled computationally and tested experimentally. It is identified that the passive compliant mechanisms can increase the flexibility of the swabbing system when subjected to the lateral force and mitigate the vertical force resulted from buckling. The lateral force range that the force-sensing gripper can detect is 0-0.35 N and the vertical force range causing buckling effect that can be sensed by gripper is 1.5-2.5 N.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Robotics , Communicable Diseases/diagnosis , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc ; 2021: 4792-4795, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566188

ABSTRACT

Robots can protect healthcare workers from being infected by the COVID-19 and play a role in throat swab sampling operation. A critical requirement in this process is to maintain a constant force on the tissue for ensuring a safe and good sampling. In this study, we present the design of a disposable mechanism with two non-linear springs to achieve a 0.6 N constant force within a 20 mm displacement. The nonlinear spring is designed through optimization based on Finite Element Simulation and Genetic Algorithm. Prototype of the mechanism is made and tested. The experimental results show that the mechanism can provide 0.67±0.04 N and 0.57±0.02 N during its compression and return process. The proposed design can be extended to different scales and used in a variety of scenario where safe interacting with human is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Computer Simulation , Humans , Pharynx , SARS-CoV-2
15.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0259713, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546943

ABSTRACT

Observing social/physical distancing norms between humans has become an indispensable precaution to slow down the transmission of COVID-19. We present a novel method to automatically detect pairs of humans in a crowded scenario who are not maintaining social distancing, i.e. about 2 meters of space between them using an autonomous mobile robot and existing CCTV (Closed-Circuit TeleVision) cameras. The robot is equipped with commodity sensors, namely an RGB-D (Red Green Blue-Depth) camera and a 2-D lidar to detect social distancing breaches within their sensing range and navigate towards the location of the breach. Moreover, it discreetly alerts the relevant people to move apart by using a mounted display. In addition, we also equip the robot with a thermal camera that transmits thermal images to security/healthcare personnel who monitors COVID symptoms such as a fever. In indoor scenarios, we integrate the mobile robot setup with a static wall-mounted CCTV camera to further improve the number of social distancing breaches detected, accurately pursuing walking groups of people etc. We highlight the performance benefits of our robot + CCTV approach in different static and dynamic indoor scenarios.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Physical Distancing , Robotics , Algorithms , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Environmental Monitoring/instrumentation , Humans , Photography , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
16.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(23)2021 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538467

ABSTRACT

Recent outbreaks and the worldwide spread of COVID-19 have challenged mankind with unprecedented difficulties. The introduction of autonomous disinfection robots appears to be indispensable as consistent sterilization is in desperate demand under limited manpower. In this study, we developed an autonomous navigation robot capable of recognizing objects and locations with a high probability of contamination and capable of providing quantified sterilization effects. In order to quantify the 99.9% sterilization effect of various bacterial strains, as representative contaminants with robots operated under different modules, the operating parameters of the moving speed, distance between the sample and the robot, and the radiation angle were determined. We anticipate that the sterilization effect data we obtained with our disinfection robot, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time, will serve as a type of stepping stone, leading to practical applications at various sites requiring disinfection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Artificial Intelligence , Disinfection , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Sterilization
17.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(21)2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512561

ABSTRACT

Sustained attention is essential for older adults to maintain an active lifestyle, and the deficiency of this function is often associated with health-related risks such as falling and frailty. The present study examined whether the well-established age-effect on reducing mind-wandering, the drift to internal thoughts that are seen to be detrimental to attentional control, could be replicated by using a robotic experimenter for older adults who are not as familiar with online technologies. A total of 28 younger and 22 older adults performed a Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART) by answering thought probes regarding their attention states and providing confidence ratings for their own task performances. The indices from the modified SART suggested a well-documented conservative response strategy endorsed by older adults, which were represented by slower responses and increased omission errors. Moreover, the slower responses and increased omissions were found to be associated with less self-reported mind-wandering, thus showing consistency with their higher subjective ratings of attentional control. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of constructing age-related cognitive profiles with attention evaluation instruction based on a social companion robot for older adults at home.


Subject(s)
Robotics , Aged , Humans , Memory, Short-Term , Self Report , Social Interaction , Task Performance and Analysis
18.
Eur Surg Res ; 63(1): 40-45, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495756

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The disruption to surgical training and medical education caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for realistic, reliable, and engaging educational opportunities available outside of the operating theatre and accessible for trainees of all levels. This article presents the design and development of a virtual reality curriculum which simulates the surgical mentorship experience outside of the operating theatre, with a focus on surgical anatomy and surgical decision-making. METHOD: This was a multi-institutional study between London's King's College and Imperial College. The index procedure selected for the module was robotic radical prostatectomy. For each stage of the surgical procedure, subject-matter experts (N = 3) at King's College London, identified (1) the critical surgical-decision making points, (2) critical anatomical landmarks, and (3) tips and techniques for overcoming intraoperative challenges. Content validity was determined by an independent panel of subject-matter experts (N = 8) at Imperial College, London, using Fleiss' kappa statistic. The experts' teaching points were combined with operative footage and illustrative animations, and projected onto a virtual reality headset. The module was piloted to surgical science students (N = 15). Quantitative analysis compared participants' confidence regarding their anatomical knowledge before and after taking the module. Qualitative data were gathered from students regarding their views on using the virtual reality model. RESULTS: Multi-rater agreement between experts was above the 70.0% threshold for all steps of the procedure. Seventy-three percentage of pilot study participants "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they achieved a better understanding of surgical anatomy and the rationale behind each procedural step. This was reflected in an increase in the median knowledge score after trialing the curriculum (p < 0.001). 100% of subject-matter experts and 93.3% of participants "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that virtual mentorship would be useful for future surgical training. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that virtual surgical mentorship could be a feasible and cost-effective alternative to traditional training methods with the potential to improve technical skills, such as operative proficiency and nontechnical skills such as decision-making and situational judgement.


Subject(s)
Augmented Reality , COVID-19 , Robotics , Clinical Competence , Computer Simulation , Curriculum , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , Prostatectomy/education , Prostatectomy/methods , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Craniofac Surg ; 32(7): e672-e676, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486451

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Ear surgery requires magnified imaging of anatomical structures from its beginning to achieve safe and successful surgical outcomes. The historical evolution of magnification in otology has developed from monocular to binocular, and to three-dimensional and even to digital in modern times. Current technological advancements pursue high-quality visualization for the best surgical outcomes but also ergonomic for surgeons. Here, we evaluated the usability of such new technology in common otological surgeries like cochlear implantation and stapedectomy for the first time in patients. A three-dimensional camera mounted to a robot arm has hands-free control by goggles worn by the surgeon on a head mount. The camera at a distance of the patients but can also be draped in a sterile way that it forms a barrier tent between patient and surgical personnel in the theatre. The main reason to evaluate the feasibility of this new exoscope was driven by COVID-19 obligate measures for elective surgery such as hearing restoration. This new technology can be considered an important advantage for the surgeons working in microsurgery to perform their elective operations without aerosolization of the drill rinsing water possibly containing contaminated tissue. From a subjective point of view, the image quality is equivalent to conventional microscopes to provide safe otologic surgery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Otologic Surgical Procedures , Robotics , Humans , Microsurgery , SARS-CoV-2
20.
SLAS Technol ; 27(1): 100-106, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482971

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 has introduced a significant stress on the healthcare systems of many countries. The availability of quick and reliable screening methodologies can be regarded as the keystone approach to mitigate the spread of the infection until mass vaccination campaigns will be made available to the population. In this scenario, robotics technology can serve as a substantial help in clinical laboratories to speed up the activities. This work describes in the details a collaborative robotics application developed in partnership with a clinical hospital and a robot manufacturer to partly automate SARS-CoV-2 quantitative serological tests. This technology can be particularly beneficial for small laboratory facilities to alleviate technicians from performing repetitive operations. By automating part of the operations, the overall throughput can be increased of 66%, while the amount of possibly harmful pipetting activities performed by the human can be reduced of 62%.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Robotics , Humans , Mass Screening , SARS-CoV-2 , Serologic Tests
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