A serious game for learning ultrasound-guided needle placement skills

Wing Yin Chan, Jing Qin, Yim Pan Chui, Pheng Ann Heng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Ultrasound-guided needle placement is a key step in a lot of radiological intervention procedures such as biopsy, local anesthesia, and fluid drainage. To help training future intervention radiologists, we develop a serious game to teach the skills involved. We introduce novel techniques for realistic simulation and integrate game elements for active and effective learning. This game is designed in the context of needle placement training based on the some essential characteristics of serious games. Training scenarios are interactively generated via a block-based construction scheme. A novel example-based texture synthesis technique is proposed to simulate corresponding ultrasound images. Game levels are defined based on the difficulties of the generated scenarios. Interactive recommendation of desirable insertion paths is provided during the training as an adaptation mechanism. We also develop a fast physics-based approach to reproduce the shadowing effect of needles in ultrasound images. Game elements such as time-attack tasks, hints, and performance evaluation tools are also integrated in our system. Extensive experiments are performed to validate its feasibility for training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6216416
Pages (from-to)1032-1042
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Example-based texture synthesis
  • serious games
  • sono-visualization of needle
  • surgical training
  • ultrasound-guided needle placement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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