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Training Simulators for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Current and Future Perspectives

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56025 Pisa, Italy
Center of Research in Biomedical Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Excellence in Robotics & AI, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Unit, University Hospital of Parma, University of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences University of Foggia, 71121 Foggia, Italy
LIDER-Lab, DIRPOLIS Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, 56025 Pisa, Italy
Department of Gastroenterology, Pomeranian Medical University, 71-252 Szczecin, Poland
The Centre for Digestive Diseases Endoklinika, 70-535 Szczecin, Poland
Department of Social Medicine & Public Health, Pomeranian Medical University, 71-252 Szczecin, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These senior authors equally contributed to this work.
Academic Editor: Stephen P. Pereira
Cancers 2021, 13(6), 1427;
Received: 17 February 2021 / Revised: 11 March 2021 / Accepted: 16 March 2021 / Published: 20 March 2021
Over the last decades, visual endoscopy has become a gold standard for the detection and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. However, mastering endoscopic procedures is complex and requires long hours of practice. In this context, simulation-based training represents a valuable opportunity for acquiring technical and cognitive skills, suiting the different trainees’ learning pace and limiting the risks for the patients. In this regard, the present contribution aims to present a critical and comprehensive review of the current technology for gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy training, including both commercial products and platforms at a research stage. Not limited to it, the recent revolution played by the technological advancements in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality, and computational tools on simulation-based learning is documented and discussed. Finally, considerations on the future trend of this application field are drawn, highlighting the impact of the most recent pandemic and the current demographic trends.
Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is the gold standard in the detection and treatment of early and advanced GI cancers. However, conventional endoscopic techniques are technically demanding and require visual-spatial skills and significant hands-on experience. GI endoscopy simulators represent a valid solution to allow doctors to practice in a pre-clinical scenario. From the first endoscopy mannequin, developed in 1969, several simulation platforms have been developed, ranging from purely mechanical systems to more complex mechatronic devices and animal-based models. Considering the recent advancement of technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, augmented reality, robotics), simulation platforms can now reach high levels of realism, representing a valid and smart alternative to standard trainee/mentor learning programs. This is particularly true nowadays, when the current demographic trend and the most recent pandemic demand, more than ever, the ability to cope with many patients. This review offers a broad view of the technology available for GI endoscopy training, including platforms currently in the market and the relevant advancements in this research and application field. Additionally, new training needs and new emerging technologies are discussed to understand where medical education is heading. View Full-Text
Keywords: GI endoscopy; medical simulation; medical education; training; gastroscopy; colonoscopy; simulators GI endoscopy; medical simulation; medical education; training; gastroscopy; colonoscopy; simulators
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MDPI and ACS Style

Finocchiaro, M.; Cortegoso Valdivia, P.; Hernansanz, A.; Marino, N.; Amram, D.; Casals, A.; Menciassi, A.; Marlicz, W.; Ciuti, G.; Koulaouzidis, A. Training Simulators for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Current and Future Perspectives. Cancers 2021, 13, 1427.

AMA Style

Finocchiaro M, Cortegoso Valdivia P, Hernansanz A, Marino N, Amram D, Casals A, Menciassi A, Marlicz W, Ciuti G, Koulaouzidis A. Training Simulators for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Current and Future Perspectives. Cancers. 2021; 13(6):1427.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Finocchiaro, Martina, Pablo Cortegoso Valdivia, Albert Hernansanz, Nicola Marino, Denise Amram, Alicia Casals, Arianna Menciassi, Wojciech Marlicz, Gastone Ciuti, and Anastasios Koulaouzidis. 2021. "Training Simulators for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: Current and Future Perspectives" Cancers 13, no. 6: 1427.

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