Simball Box for Laparoscopic Training With Advanced 4D Motion Analysis of Skills

Kristine Hagelsteen, MD1,2, Dan Sevonius, MD, PhD1,2,
Anders Bergenfelz, MD, PhD1,2, and Mikael Ekelund, MD, PhD1,2


Background. Laparoscopic skills training and evaluation outside the operating room is important for all surgeons learning new skills. To study feasibility, a video box trainer tracking 4-dimensional (4D) metrics was evaluated as a laparoscopic training tool.

Method. Simball Box is a video box trainer with authentic surgical instruments and camera with video

recording, equipped with 4D motion analysis registered through trocars using machine vision technology. Residents attending a 3-day laparoscopy course were evaluated performing a laparoscopic surgical knot at start, middle, and end. Metrics were obtained. Feedback data were presented in reference to expert/tutorial performance.

Results. Ten right-handed residents were included. Median time (range) to finish the task was 359 (253-418), 129 (95-166), and 95 (52-156) seconds; 655%, 236%, and 174% of tutorial performance, with significance pre-/midcourse (P < .0001), pre-/postcourse (P < .0001), and mid-/postcourse (P = .0050). Combined median total instrument motion decreased pre-/midcourse from 1208 (845-1751) to 522 cm (411-810 cm); P = .042 to 405 cm (246-864 cm) postcourse; pre-/postcourse P < .0001; 673%, 291%, 225% of tutorial performance. Total angular distance in radians (range) was 150 (87-251), 65 (42-116), and 50 (33-136) with significance pre-/midcourse (P = .022) and pre-/postcourse (P = .0002).

Right-handed average speed (cm/s) increased: 1.94 (1.11-2.27) pre-, 2.39 (1.56-2.83) mid-, 2.60 (1.67-3.19) postcourse with significance pre-/midcourse (P = .022) and pre-/postcourse (P = .002). Average acceleration (mm/s2) and motion smoothness (μm/s3) failed to show any difference.

Conclusion. For laparoscopic training and as a promising evaluation device, Simball Box obtained metrics mirroring progression well.

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