See-What-I-Do:  Increasing Mentor and Trainee Sense of Co-Presence in Trauma Surgeries with the STAR Platform

The Problem

Optimal trauma treatment integrates different surgical skills not all available in military field hospitals.  Telementoring can provide missing expertise, but current systems:  require the trainee to frequently focus on a nearby telestrator; fail to illustrate next surgical steps; and give the mentor an incomplete picture of the ongoing surgery.

Development of the System for Telementoring with Augmented Reality (STAR) will address these shortcomings.


  1. Develop and assess a transparent-display Augmented Reality system that enhances trainee’s natural view of the surgical field by illustrating current and next surgical steps;
  2. Develop and assess a patient-size interaction platform where the mentor uses gestures to mark, annotate, and zoom in on anatomic regions over a projected image;
  3. Validate and refine STAR with corpsmen in cricothyroidotomy procedures on a human-patient simulator; and
  4. Validate the refined STAR with surgery residents in hemorrhage-control procedures within a damage-control laparotomy on live porcine models in a simulated austere environment.


Methodologies used for each of the corresponding objectives above are given below:

  • 3-D scene acquisition, camera calibration, color-to-depth registration, head tracking, 3-D rendering, parameterized simulation, and visualization of simulation data.
  • Hidden Markov Models, Kinect-based tracking library, and Wizard of Oz prototyping.
  • Trauma Man Cric simulator and direct corpsmen and/or paramedics to perform a surgical cric using direct observation and video review to evaluate with the Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) competency checklist.
  • Hemorrhage-source identification and control through direct observation and video review evaluated by Trauma Surgical Faculty of a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Potential Impact

STAR will increase access to subspecialty surgical expertise, help refresh skills of surgeons returning from temporary deployment, and decrease complications rates for recent medical school graduates in deployment.

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