The main objective of this project is the development of the contents and the implementation of an online course to assure surgeons a worthy education and training along their professional career regarding ergonomics and usability applied to orthopaedic Minimally Invasive Surgery of hip and spine, matching product innovation with the needs of orthopaedic surgeons and the latter with their working environment. The e-learning tool resulting from the project will be available online in 4 European languages (English, Spanish, Polish and German) in order to increase acceptance of the course.

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The importance of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has constantly increased, and it has been routinely used in orthopaedic surgery for more than 40 years, because of its main advantages [1]: reduced trauma to soft tissues; decreased blood loss, less pain and faster recovery; better stability of the prosthese's components as well as better cosmetic results. In recent years there has been a progressive increase in the number of services and professionals worldwide who use MIS techniques. For these reasons, MIS surgery has offered a step change in quality of care, patient satisfaction and efficiency in use of health service resources.

MIS surgery is a task with high physical and mental demands and involves a series or risks for the surgeon. The intraoperative surgical workplace is affected by stressing environmental factors and, additionally, surgeons have to perform high-force as well as high-precision tasks in combination with multimodal information processing. This leads to increased stress and strain, resulting in muscle overload, fatigue of surgeons and higher risk for human error [2] and for inefficiencies in operations, causing that surgeons suffer from severe musculoskeletal disorders with progressing working life [3,4,5]. Therefore, the implementation of ergonomic criteria in the design of working tools and of suitable operating room environments is essential to improve efficiency, safety, and comfort for the operating team, while reducing physical strains on surgeons.

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The advancement of MIS techniques has changed the practice of general surgery. While maintaining the goal of safely and effectively offering new procedures to their patients, practicing general surgeons are actively adopting new techniques. “Yet, even though the benefits of MIS are now plain for all to see, it is increasingly apparent in this success story that a considerable unforeseen cost is borne by one key stakeholder – the surgeon”. Moreover, there exist barriers such as new technology or inadequate training availability, while there is an increasing demand in hospitals of surgeons for minimally invasive surgeries.

Proper training on ergonomic improvements in the surgical instruments and on user-driven methodologies for usability enhancement will synergistically expand the application of MIS surgery, with the associated benefits for patients and for surgeons.

Train4OrthoMIS project will cover the mentioned lack of training of MIS surgeons, will improve the knowledge/capacities of the European professionals and will provide new skills for emergent activities that these of workers should carry out in their work.

Train4OrthoMIS project aims to create, implement and set the basis for a pan-European exploitation of a new online VET course focused on ergonomic criteria in the design of working tools and of suitable operating room environments for MIS surgeons and assistants. In addition, of course, this course is also intended for medical students interested in acquiring ergonomic and usability skills associated with MIS techniques as a formative process.

In conclusion, this project is intended to achieve the following specific objectives set by the Erasmus+ Programme:

  • To foster the provision and the assessment of key-competences related with ergonomics and usability, applied to orthopaedic Minimally Invasive Surgery of hip and spine.
  • To enhance the quality and the relevance of the learning offer and to improve the level of key competences and skills by means of a new and innovative approach that will let to orthopaedic surgeons and assistants to acquire ergonomic knowledge.