Health care students know that practice pays off when it comes to learning how to give a needle or insert an intravenous line. But what if new 3D sensory technology could provide feedback on whether or not students are turning their hands at a correct angle or applying suitable pressure when they’re carrying out these clinical procedures?
It’s an area of research that prompted Saskatchewan Polytechnic to team up with IRG Informatics Inc., a Canadian health information management company. The company wanted to test hardware and software that track and analyze body mechanics, such as coordination, dexterity, and fine-motor movement. IRG and the polytechnic had nursing students and faculty perform intramuscular injections on mannequins of varying sizes – paediatric, adult and geriatric – using 3D imagery.
IRG is now patenting the technology and plans to incorporate it in a highly sensitive training device, such as a sensor-embedded glove.
“The students’ and faculty’s continual feedback during these tests helped us fine-tune the design and calibration of the technology,” says Dr. Vahid Anvari, Director of Research and Development, IRG Informatics Inc.
The company expects that end-users of the technology will include educational institutions seeking cost-effective, high-tech training opportunities, and community-based clinics and health-care delivery organizations.