Hossein Mohamadipanah, PhD

Mentor: Dr. Carla Pugh

The Technology Enabled Clinical Improvement (TECI) Center is the Department of Surgery’s newest research lab.

“There is a huge opportunity in solving surgical education problems,” said Dr. Hossein Mohamadipanah, TECI’s senior research scientist. “We focus on using technology to enhance surgical training programs.”

Dr. Mohamadipanah completed his master’s degree in robotics at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran before earning his PhD in medical robotics and machine learning at Oklahoma State University in 2014.

“I realized that there are many challenges in the medical field where research engineers like me could be helpful,” said Dr. Mohamadipanah.

So far, Dr. Mohamadipanah has worked on a variety of projects from investigating dexterity skills in virtual reality environments to developing a heart simulator to parse optimum hand movements of expert cardiologists during coronary artery graft bypass surgery.

“Collecting multiple source of data (e.g. video, force, motion tracking, etc.) from expert surgeons during their actions provides a unique opportunity to discern best practices,” said Dr. Mohamadipanah. “Once we quantify trainees’ actions, we can improve surgical training by providing objective learning feedback to them.”

Dr. Mohamadipanah says his vision for the future involves improving surgical training programs to provide the most effective and efficient pathways for surgical residents to achieve highest level of mastery in their field. His long-term goal involves designing semi-autonomous robots for surgical procedures.

“It is not possible to replace human surgeons with robots in the near future,” said  Dr. Mohamadipanah. “To lower burden on surgeons during procedures, it is possible to delegate some portions of surgical tasks (e.g. suturing) to a robot, however, a human surgeon supervision and continuous monitoring on any delegated subtask is vital.”