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Education Medicine Wii Games

Play Wii, Become a Better Surgeon 55

drew30319 writes "NPR reports that a team of researchers at the University of Rome required a group of surgical residents to play video games on a Nintendo Wii for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks resulting in 'statistically better' performance than a control group for laparoscopic skills. The study includes some interesting stats (e.g. while the control group showed a 10% improvement in accuracy, the Wii-playing group's accuracy improved by 83%). The study's authors add that '[t]he Nintendo Wii may be adopted in lower-budget Institutions or at home by younger surgeons to optimize their training on simulators before performing real procedures.'"
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Play Wii, Become a Better Surgeon

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  • by PSVMOrnot ( 885854 ) on Friday March 01, 2013 @06:46AM (#43043813)

    As they say in TFPaper, this can only be considered as a pilot study due to the limited size and make up of their particiant group and limits on their methodology. As such to say 'Play wii and become a better surgeon' is a bit premature. You could say "We've found a link between playing Wii and improvement in surgical scores, give us cash so we can find out precisely what it is".

    An example of this is that they have no way of telling whether the improvement is due to the Wii training, or due to the possibilty that forcing people who are in high stress occupations to take an hours break a day might improve performance by lowering stress levels. (My thinking here being that doing these training simulations on the wii is sufficiently different to seem like a break to them). They could have done with a second control group who were just playing wii tennis, or reading a book or some such to account for that. Of course, that would require more participants, of which they had a limited number; hence this is only a pilot study.

  • Re:Stupidity (Score:4, Informative)

    by durrr ( 1316311 ) on Friday March 01, 2013 @06:46AM (#43043815)

    There are laparotrainer kits for whoever is serious. But if you can train related motor skills by using a cheap ass toy you might as well do that initially and then refine the technique on the more expensive kits.

    And the kits are not a human-representative dummy really, you just do various tasks with the laparoscope.

  • Re:So (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 01, 2013 @06:46AM (#43043823)

    They are playing regular games with 3D coordination requirements like shooting balloons from planes and so on.

    Playing games was shown to enhance visual acuity and coordination some time ago, but this study shows it improves performance in Virtual Laparoscopy training stats.

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Friday March 01, 2013 @07:00AM (#43043845)

    Posted 4/7/2004 7:05 AM : []

    Researchers found that doctors who spent at least three hours a week playing video games made about 37% less mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27% faster than their counterparts who did not play video games.

    "I use the same hand-eye coordination to play video games as I use for surgery," said Dr. James "Butch" Rosser, 49, who demonstrated the results of his study Tuesday at Beth Israel Medical Center.

    Interesting paper on it here, from 2011 []

  • by Christopher Fritz ( 1550669 ) on Friday March 01, 2013 @08:43AM (#43044167)

    Sounds like the Wii Sports Resort game where you fly over the island in a plane, firing at balloons (Island Flyover). There's also Pilotwings Resort which I believe was based on this, but I haven't played it to be certain.

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