The personal digital assistant (PDA) as a tool for telementoring endoscopic procedures

Alex Gandsas, Katherine McIntire, Kevin Montgomery, Cody Bumgardner, Linda Rice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The telementoring of surgical procedures is currently achieved via a wired infrastructure that usually requires sophisticated videoconference systems. This project represents the first step in assessing the potential for using handheld computers as a mobile alternative to current telementoring systems. Specifically, this project compares a handheld computer to a standard CRT monitor regarding their capability to accurately display video images from an endoscopic procedure. Video images from two previously recorded endoscopic procedures were transmitted from a standard VCR to: 1) a handheld computer (iPAQ 3670 running Pocket PC) via a wireless LAN and 2) a standard CRT monitor via a wired analog connection. The software used on the handheld device was custom designed to allow 320X240 pixel video images to be broadcast in real time. Twenty-three surgical residents who had completed an endoscopy rotation were randomized to watch one of the two videotaped endoscopic procedures on the hand held computer or on the CRT monitor. After viewing the procedure, a ten-question quiz was used to assess the ability of each participant to recognize several anatomic landmarks. The result of each questionnaire was expressed as the percentage of correct responses. Using a crossover design, each participant then viewed the other videotaped procedure using the alternate device and completed a second quiz. The mean test score for each device was calculated, and these data was analyzed using a Student T test. The observed difference between the mean test score associated with the handheld device (77.93 +11.26) and the CRT monitor (81.30 +12.54) was not statistically significant (p<0.41). In addition, regardless of the device used, scores corresponding to video tape one were significantly higher than those recorded for video tape two (84.35+9.92 vs. 74.35 +11.61; p<0.01) All participants were able to recognize anatomic landmarks equally well when viewing broadcasted endoscopic procedures on a handheld display or a standard CRT monitor. Handheld computers may have a role in telementoring residents who are performing endoscopic procedures. Further research is needed to evaluate the integration of handheld devices into telementoring and robotic system to perform surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 12 - Building a Better You
Subtitle of host publicationThe Next Tools for Medical Education, Diagnosis and Care
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)1586034049, 9781586034047
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes
Event4th Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Proceedings 1996, MMVR 1996 - Newport Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 15 2004Jan 16 2004

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Other4th Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Proceedings 1996, MMVR 1996
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNewport Beach, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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