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A New System for Evaluation of Armrest Use in Robotic Surgery and Validation of a New Ergonomic Concept – Armrest Load

originally published in the Int J Med Robot

Yang K, Perez M, Perrenot C, Hubert N, Felblinger J, Hubert J

BACKGROUND:
The da Vinci® robot provides a sitting position and an armrest to decrease workload and increase dexterity. We investigated the surgeon's ergonomic behavior by installing force sensors on the dV-Trainer® simulator's armrest to measure the "armrest load" during the performance of simulated exercises.

METHODS:
Five experts and 48 novices performed two robotic simulation exercises on the dV-Trainer®. We calculated the armrest load and evaluated their armrest-using habits. Overall score and workspace range were evaluated automatically by the simulator and compared with armrest load.

RESULTS:

Statistically significant differences exist for overall score, workspace range, and armrest load between novices and experts.

CONCLUSION:
The armrest load score is a direct, sensitive measure for the ergonomic evaluation of a simulator's armrest use. This experience-dependent ergonomic difference between experts and novices (p = 0.007) highlights the importance of ergonomic training for novice robot users. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Click here for the study abstract