Comparing the effects of traditional, VR, and custom-made input devices on usability, cognitive load, and presence on virtual laparoscopic tasks : investigating the potential of low-cost, consumer-level VR technology for medical simulation and training through laparoscopy simulation
Digital simulators are essential in medical education, allowing to train procedures that are otherwise impossible or difficult to recreate in real life. Laparoscopy training, a procedure that allows a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen using a laparoscope, has been based on videos, lectures, advanced computer simulators using robotics and computer simulation, cost-effective box trainers, and most recently, computer applications and Virtual Reality (VR). However, computer simulators rely on controllers, keyboards, mice, and gamepads that lack adequate laparoscope representation. This thesis investigates how keyboard/mouse, VR controller, game controller, and a custom-made 3D printed controller in the form of a retrofitted laparoscope integrated with a womb impact usability, cognitive load, presence, stress, and performance when performing fundamental laparoscopic tasks focused on aiming and lasering. Preliminary results indicate that the use of user interfaces with higher representation positively influences presence while improving usability and increasing cognitive load.