The fNIRS brain analysis system is able to assess the level of competence of a surgeon.

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<pre>The fNIRS brain analysis system is able to assess the level of competence of a surgeon.

A group of researchers from several US institutions has developed a method to test the medical competence of surgeons using brain imaging technology.

The evaluation of surgical skills is very difficult. Until now, surgeons-experts are engaged in this, observing the actions of their wards during the operation, as well as during tests on simulators.

Previous studies have shown that the brain behaves in a certain way during an activity that requires complex motor skills. In particular, certain characteristics were identified that link the motor dysfunction, the level of cognitive function, motor action, perception and multitasking.

These specific characteristics of the brain can be used in the opposite direction – to compare the obtained parameters with the parameters of highly qualified doctors.

The experiment involved an expert surgeon, novice surgeons from among students, medical students practicing at institutes, and medical students without training. Each volunteer, after being connected to the fNIRS system, was asked to perform a simulator operation.

As a result, it was found that surgeons experts had better motor skills than other groups — which, of course, was predictable. But scientists also recorded an obvious increase in students' professional skills as they study. In conclusion, the team of scientists came to the following conclusion: the system for assessing the professional skills of surgeons that they created turned out to be more effective than the generally accepted method.

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