WKA-1R Robot assisted quantitative assessment of airway management

Yohan Noh*, Masanao Segawa, Akihiro Shimomura, Hiroyuki Ishii, Jorge Solis, Kazuyuki Hatake, Atsuo Takanishi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Object: The emerging field of medical robotics aims tointroduce intelligent tools for physician support. The main challenges for developing efficient medical robotic training systems are simulating real-world conditions of the task and assuring training effectiveness. High anatomic fidelity has been achieved in current systems, but they are limited to provide merely subjective assessments of the training progress. We simulated airway intubation using a unique medical robot and developed objective performance criteria to assess task performance. Materials and methods: A patient simulation robot was designed to mimic real-world task conditions and provide objective assessments of training progress. The Waseda' Kyotokagaku Airway No. 1R (WKA-1R) includes a human patient model with embedded sensors. An evaluation function was developed for the WKA-1R to quantitatively assess task performance. The evaluation includes performance indices and coefficient weighting. The performance indices were defined based on experiments carried out with medical doctors and from information found in the medical literature. The performance indices are: intubation time, jaw opening, incisor teeth force, cuff pressure, tongue force and tube position. To determine the weighting of coefficients, we used discriminant analysis. Results: Experiments were carried out with volunteers to determine the effectiveness of the WKA-1R to quantitatively evaluate their performance while performing airway management. We asked subjects from different levels of expertise (from anesthetists to unskilled) to perform the task. From the experimental results, we determined operator effectiveness using the proposed performance indices. We found a significant difference between the experimental groups by evaluating their performances using the proposed evaluation function (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The WKA-1R robot was designed to quantitatively acquire information on the performances of trainees during intubation procedures. From the experimental results, we could objectively determine operator effectiveness while providing quantitative task assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Airway management
  • Medical training system
  • Sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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