Designing and evaluating of a computerized, semi-automatic, 3D animated simulator for minimizing ionizing radiation in cardiac catheterization procedures
Ongoing exposure to ionizing radiation can lead to physical damages in the short, mid and long ranges. Physical damage can start from skin irritations and escalate to cancerous growths. Imaging equipment, such as C-arm increasingly improve operations and accuracy during clinical procedures. However, in spite of the immense benefits these technologies bring, the medical team pays a high price of exposure to ionizing radiation that in most cases can be prevented or reduced dramatically. Unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation is a direct result of lack of awareness and practice in using imaging equipment. Skill improvement and working in low radiation zones will assist in shortening process times and making processes more efficient, leading to smaller exposure times to the medical team. The following research will present a new type of simulator, implementing the WOZ (Wizard of OZ) concept for training cardiologists in performing cardiac catheterization procedures. The main goal of the simulator is to shift invasive cardiologist from high ionizing radiation zones, used today, to lower ones, while achieving similar image quality (there is a tradeoff between image quality and the levels of radiation used). Initial findings show that high image quality can still be achieved in low radiation zones.