Development of the ultra-miniaturized inertial measurement unit WB3 for objective skill analysis and assessment in neurosurgery: preliminary results

In recent years there has been an ever increasing amount of research and development of technologies and methodologies aimed at improving the safety of advanced surgery. In this context, several training methods and metrics have been proposed, in particular for laparoscopy, both to improve the surgeon's abilities and also to assess her/his skills. For neurosurgery, however, the extremely small movements and sizes involved have prevented until now the development of similar methodologies and systems. In this paper we present the development of the ultra-miniaturized Inertial Measurement Unit WB3 (at present the smallest, lightest, and best performing in the world) for practical application in neurosurgery as skill assessment tool. This paper presents the feasibility study for quantitative discrimination of movements of experienced surgeons and beginners in a simple pick and place scenario. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.