HoloMentor: A Novel Mixed Reality Surgical Anatomy Curriculum for Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy

Zoe-Athena Papalois, Abdullatif Aydın, Azhar Khan, Evangelos Mazaris, Anand Sivaprakash Rathnasamy Muthusamy, Frank J M F Dor, Prokar Dasgupta, Kamran Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The disruption to surgical training and medical education caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for realistic, reliable, and engaging educational opportunities available outside of the operating theatre and accessible for trainees of all levels. This article presents the design and development of a virtual reality curriculum which simulates the surgical mentorship experience outside of the operating theatre, with a focus on surgical anatomy and surgical decision-making. Method: This was a multi-institutional study between London's King's College and Imperial College. The index procedure selected for the module was robotic radical prostatectomy. For each stage of the surgical procedure, subject-matter experts (N = 3) at King's College London, identified (1) the critical surgical-decision making points, (2) critical anatomical landmarks, and (3) tips and techniques for overcoming intraoperative challenges. Content validity was determined by an independent panel of subject-matter experts (N = 8) at Imperial College, London, using Fleiss' kappa statistic. The experts' teaching points were combined with operative footage and illustrative animations, and projected onto a virtual reality headset. The module was piloted to surgical science students (N = 15). Quantitative analysis compared participants' confidence regarding their anatomical knowledge before and after taking the module. Qualitative data were gathered from students regarding their views on using the virtual reality model. Results: Multi-rater agreement between experts was above the 70.0% threshold for all steps of the procedure. Seventy-three percentage of pilot study participants "agreed"or "strongly agreed"that they achieved a better understanding of surgical anatomy and the rationale behind each procedural step. This was reflected in an increase in the median knowledge score after trialing the curriculum (p < 0.001). 100% of subject-matter experts and 93.3% of participants "agreed"or "strongly agreed"that virtual mentorship would be useful for future surgical training. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that virtual surgical mentorship could be a feasible and cost-effective alternative to traditional training methods with the potential to improve technical skills, such as operative proficiency and nontechnical skills such as decision-making and situational judgement.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Surgical Research
Early online date1 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Nov 2021


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