Several modern learning frameworks (eg, cognitive apprenticeship, anchored instruction, and situated cognition) posit the utility of nontraditional methods for effective experiential learning. Thus, development of novel educational tools emphasizing the cognitive framework of operative sequences may be of benefit to surgical trainees. We propose the development and global deployment of an effective, mobile cognitive cardiac surgical simulator. In methods, 16 preclinical medical students were assessed. Overall, 4 separate surgical modules (sternotomy, cannulation, decannulation, and sternal closure) were created utilizing the Touch Surgery (London, UK) platform. Modules were made available to download free of charge for use on mobile devices. Usage data were collected over a 6-month period. Educational efficacy of the modules was evaluated by randomizing a cohort of medical students to either module usage or traditional, reading-based self-study, followed by a multiple-choice learning assessment tool. In results, downloads of the simulator achieved global penetrance, with highest usage in the USA, Brazil, Italy, UK, and India. Overall, 5368 unique users conducted a total of 1971 hours of simulation. Evaluation of the medical student cohort revealed significantly higher assessment scores in those randomized to module use versus traditional reading (75% ± 9% vs 61% ± 7%, respectively; P < 0.05). In conclusion, this study represents the first effort to create a mobile, interactive cognitive simulator for cardiac surgery. Simulators of this type may be effective for the training and assessment of surgical students. We investigated whether an interactive, mobile-computing-based cognitive task simulator for cardiac surgery could be developed, deployed, and validated. Our findings suggest that such simulators may be a useful learning tool.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2016.02.006
View details for PubMedID 27568126