A Review of Simulators with Haptic Devices for Medical Training
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© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.Medical procedures often involve the use of the tactile sense to manipulate organs or tissues by using special tools. Doctors require extensive preparation in order to perform them successfully; for example, research shows that a minimum of 750 operations are needed to acquire sufficient experience to perform medical procedures correctly. Haptic devices have become an important training alternative and they have been considered to improve medical training because they let users interact with virtual environments by adding the sense of touch to the simulation. Previous articles in the field state that haptic devices enhance the learning of surgeons compared to current training environments used in medical schools (corpses, animals, or synthetic skin and organs). Consequently, virtual environments use haptic devices to improve realism. The goal of this paper is to provide a state of the art review of recent medical simulators that use haptic devices. In particular we focus on stitching, palpation, dental procedures, endoscopy, laparoscopy, and orthopaedics. These simulators are reviewed and compared from the viewpoint of used technology, the number of degrees of freedom, degrees of force feedback, perceived realism, immersion, and feedback provided to the user. In the conclusion, several observations per area and suggestions for future work are provided.