MODOOL – Training Device for Surgeons | Design Sprint 21

MODOOL is a training device for prospective and experienced surgeons. In a sprint project, design student Marius Kühn created the concept for MODOOL. It will be used primarily for minimally invasive surgeries such as laparoscopy or arthroscopy. The modular structure allows a wide variety of scenarios to be depicted with the simplest and least expensive means possible.

In the previous market research on available simulators for laparoscopy or other minimally invasive procedures, the high price and a limited variety of procedures in many systems were particularly noticeable. This limits possibilities for practice for independent learning of procedures in a low-risk environment severely. A less expensive and more versatile system would allow physicians to become more familiar with important fundamentals or unfamiliar methods in an interactive manner.

A personal goal for the design was to conceptualize a product that was as realistic as possible and could be used universally. In order to examine the technical implementation as closely as possible, a functional prototype was developed to reflect every essential function for operating the simulator. In addition to providing important insights about the use of the selected sensors, the prototype also serves as proof that an easy, low-cost implementation of the technical package is entirely realistic. With the help of an Arduino microcontroller and a few simple sensors, it is thus possible to create a fairly accurate digital representation of the tool in the 3D Engine.

Based on the prototype, the concept was finally refined and a design was worked out as a vision for a market-ready product.

The heart of the simulator is the main module; like the Arduino in the prototype, the signals from the sensors are read out here as digital values and passed on to the computer via a USB connection.

Two types of modules were derived from the required sensors: The basic position module captures the position of the entire tool relative to the virtual patient. Both the angle of the tool and the depth of penetration are recorded. These modules can be anchored to the main unit directly or via various connectors in different positions and orientations. The signals are transmitted via contacts without additional cables or connectors.

The second, smaller type of modules are simple rotation sensors which are attached directly to the tool’s handles. They can be used to detect movements such as the opening and closing of scissors and forceps.

Based on these modules, the handles of three instruments were finally implemented as examples: an endoscope, simple surgical scissors or forceps, and more complex forceps with an additional degree of articulation.

As a final step, a rough draft of the interface was used to illustrate the exact process of configuring the modules: First, the user has to select the process to be simulated from the menu. Users are then given quick, step-by-step instructions on how to configure the modules in order to simulate the scenario as realistically as possible. Once this is done, the simulation can be started and the procedure will be practiced virtually.

Finally, here we go! - New WILDDESIGN Office in Stuttgart
Flexible displays in medical technology - Bachelor thesis as internship follow-up project
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Lydia writes about design processes and our medical design projects.

Originally written by Lydia Münstermann, 28. July 2023. Last updated 21. August 2023


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