We developed and validated an echo simulator with three novel tools that facilitate training and enable quantitative and objective measurement of psychomotor as well as cognitive skill. First, the trainee can see original patient images – not synthetic or simulated images – that morph in real time as the mock transducer is manipulated on the mannequin. Second, augmented reality is used for Visual Guidance, a tool that assists the trainee in scanning by displaying the target organ in 3-dimensions (3D) together with the location of the current view plane and the plane of the anatomically correct view. Third, we introduce Image Matching, a tool that leverages the aptitude of the human brain for recognizing similarities and differences to help trainees learn to perform visual assessment of ultrasound images. Psychomotor competence is measured in terms of the view plane angle error. The construct validity of the simulator for competency testing was established by demonstrating its ability to discriminate novices vs. experts.
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