Nintendo Wii technology helps to train surgeons at Lincoln County Hospital
New technology inspired by the Nintendo Wii has been created to help train doctors and surgeons in Lincoln.
A handheld device will help those specialising in orthopaedics at Lincoln County Hospital by simulating the action of a surgical drill.
It has been devised by the University of Lincoln's school of computer science and United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust.
The motion of the device is picked up by a sensor and translated in real-time to an on-screen 3D model of the bone and drill.
The computer programme records motions of the device and stores the data, which allows trainee doctors and surgeons to review their progress.
Although the handheld device is currently only a prototype, it will be available to trainees at Lincoln County Hospital from the summer.
It is hoped the technology will be used to benefit doctors and surgeons across the NHS.
The project has been led by Professor Mohammad Maqsood, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at ULHT, and Dr Amr Ahmed, senior lecturer at the school of computer science and leader of the Digital Contents Analysis, Production and Interaction research group.
Dr Ahmed told the Echo: "This project has been challenging as we have used commercial, off-the-shelf products throughout so that the cost of the system is kept to a minimum, therefore making it viable.
"The feedback we have had from the NHS consultants has been very positive. The system is being refined and developed further to make it more realistic and more accurate.
"We are confident that it will benefit not only the trainee surgeons using it, but also the patients receiving the surgery and the NHS more widely.
"Seeing your field of expertise have such an impact on another audience is both interesting and rewarding.
"Working with Professor Maqsood, who is known for his innovative work, to apply our research and solve real problems is exactly what we want to do."
Professor Maqsood added: "Trainees are required to see a number of patients as part of their learning and assist in the operating environment.
"The new software will help strengthen a trainee's understanding of how to perform an operation and the different methods that can be implemented, depending on which operation you are performing.
"The programme is designed to help develop each trainee's hand, eye and brain coordination.
"They can go through operating methods step by step through the programme and monitor their learning over a period of time.
"We are really excited about this new development and I am sure it will be embraced by trainee doctors and surgeons for many years to come."