Study on augmented reality for robotic surgery bedside assistants

Camille Linick Stewart, Abigail Fong, Govinda Payyavula, Simon DiMaio, Kelly Lafaro, Kirsten Tallmon, Sherry Wren, Jonathan Sorger, Yuman Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Robotic surgery bedside assistants play an important role in robotic procedures by performing intra-corporeal tasks while accommodating the physical presence of the robot. We hypothesized that an augmented reality headset enabling 3D intra-corporeal vision while facing the surgical field could decrease time and improve accuracy of robotic bedside tasks. Bedside assistants (one physician assistant, one medical student, three surgical trainees, and two attending surgeons) performed validated tasks within a mock abdominal cavity with a surgical robot docked. Tasks were performed with a bedside monitor providing 2D or 3D vision, or an optical see-through head-mounted augmented reality device with 2D or 3D vision. The effect of augmented reality device resolution on performance was also evaluated. For the simplest task of touching a straw, performance was generally high, regardless of mode of visualization. With more complex tasks, including stapling and pulling a ring along a path, 3D augmented reality decreased time and number of errors per task. 3D augmented reality allowed the physician assistant to perform at the level of an attending surgeon using 3D augmented reality (p = 0.08). All participants had improved times for the ring path task with better resolution (lower resolution 23 ± 11 s vs higher resolution 14 ± 4 s, p = 0.002). 3D augmented reality vision with high resolution decreased time and improved accuracy of more complex tasks, enabling a less experienced robotic surgical bedside assistant to function similar to attending surgeons. These data warrant further study with additional complex tasks and bedside assistants at various levels of training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Robotic Surgery
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Augmented reality
  • Laparoscopy
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Robotic surgery
  • Video display
  • Video-assisted surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Health Informatics


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