Role of virtual simulation in surgical training
The comparison of the developments obtained by training for aviation with the ones obtained by training for surgery highlights the efforts that are still required to define shared and validated training curricula for surgeons. This work focuses on robotic assisted surgery and the related training systems to analyze the current approaches to surgery training based on virtual environments. Limits of current simulation technology are highlighted and the systems currently on the market are compared in terms of their mechanical design and characteristics of the virtual environments offered. In particular the analysis focuses on the level of realism, both graphical and physical, and on the set of training tasks proposed. Some multimedia material is proposed to support the analysis and to highlight the differences between the simulations and the approach to training. From this analysis it is clear that, although there are several training systems on the market, some of them with a lot of scientific literature proving their validity, there is no consensus about the tasks to include in a training curriculum or the level of realism required to virtual environments to be useful.