Ocular Ultrasound Training Simulator - Winner of SG19USA Innovation Showcase Awards

08/19/2019

The Ocular Ultrasound Training Simulator (OUTS) is the brainchild of an emergency medicine physician with experience in ultrasound, a healthcare simulation technician with experience in biomedical engineering, and a 3D animator with experience in 3D printing. Kelley Stanko, MD, a Captain in the United States Air Force, first noticed the importance and the need for more training with ocular ultrasound as a 3rd year Emergency Medicine resident during a simulation and teaching elective at the University of Toledo. Kelley has always had an interest and passion for ultrasound and endeavored to find a way to utilize the new and exciting technology of 3D printing to create novel medical education tools. With the help of Yixing Chen, MPH and Dan Brainard, the three developed a method to 3D print an eye model that was capable of producing realistic and anatomically true images when examined using ultrasound.

While on the surface the eye may appear to be a simple structure, it holds within it a complexity and subtly of design that created many difficulties for the inventors. After many iterations, the team has been able to produce Ocular Ultrasound Training Simulators that are nearing anatomical parity with living tissue. Not only are they able to produce normal eyes models but also those with pathology and they have chosen to focus on the 6 most common eye conditions which are considered emergencies:  retinal detachment, lens dislocation, vitreous hemorrhage, foreign body, globe rupture and evaluation for increased intracranial pressure (ICP).

They continue to press forward, refining and innovating to solve the technical difficulties that still remain and surprise them around every turn. They have big plans for the OUTS with further refinement and upgrades currently in the works, they hope to make ocular ultrasound a skill that will finally be properly taught and readily available to healthcare professionals. And the hope to demystify a skill that may turn out to be critical for timely evaluation of ocular injuries. They currently hold patents are in the process of accepting licensees to help manufacture and develop the OUTS.

Yixing Chen and Kelley Stanko, presenting OUTS, were winners of the SImGHOSTS 2019 Best Innovation Showcase Presentation and Community Choice Best Innovation Showcase Presentation Awards, sponsored by CAE Healthcare.