Simulation-Based Dental Training System

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44DE018062-02
Agency Tracking Number: DE018062
Amount: $979,199.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 787093413
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (818) 652-7789
Business Contact
Phone: (818) 652-7789
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Dental education is a largely patient-centric, clinic-oriented activity with a number of distinct disadvantages such as instructors not being able to fully discuss issues with students due to the presence of the patient, students not being sufficiently prepared to carry out a procedure because of a absence of practice beforehand, and no certainty that students will be exposed during their training to all the types of tasks they may encounter in their future practice. Simulation-facilitated instruction, in which a trainee must successfully master specific tasks in a computer-generated 3D virtual environment embodying visual and interaction characteristics of the real world, provides a solution. Simulation offers learners repeated opportunities to try, fail, and finally succeed, without risk to their human patients while providing consistent, diverse instruction for all students. Though such simulators are now in regular use in surgical residency programs, Dental education has yet to use this clinically proven technology. The goal of this project is to transform how the clinical skills of Dentistry are taught and assessed by developing a broadly deployable simulation-facilitated Dental education system designed to address the needs of educators, students, practitioners and patients in the areas of Oral Medicine, Manual Dexterity, Scaling and Caries Detection. Specific Aims are to: construct an architecture for deployment and visualization of educational content, progress monitoring and report generation; implement an efficient content creation process; build the modules; perform an initial evaluation specific to targeted constituencies to determine whether the interface is suitably intuitive, content is compelling and engaging, and metrics are appropriate; and perform a formal evaluation study to assess whether educational goals of the modules have been met. The system will be built using off-the-shelf hardware and software, wherever practical, and will run on the typical home or office computer using a familiar browser-based display coupled with a haptics feedback interface when appropriate. This will allow the system to more easily be adapted to address future Dental education needs and will minimize fixed costs so that it may reach a large potential user base in the U.S. and worldwide, including underserved populations in rural and urban regions.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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