Purpose: Increasing pressure pushes towards the objective competence assessment of clinical operators. Hand motion analysis (HMA) was introduced to measure surgical and clinical procedures; its recent application to FAST examinations leaves unsolved issues. This study aimed at determining optimal HMA parameters to discriminate between operators’ skill levels, and which FAST tasks are experience-dependent. Methods: Ten experienced (EG) and 13 beginner (BG) sonographers performed a FAST examination on one female and one male model. A motion capture system returned the duration, working volume, number of movements (absolute and time normalized), and hand path length (absolute and time normalized) of each view. Results: BG took more time in completing specific views, with a higher working volume (p = 0.003) and longer hands path (p < 0.001). The number of movements was lower in the EG (p < 0.001) and differed between views (p = 0.014). No significant Group/Model differences were found for the normalized number of movements. The LUQ view required a higher number of movements (p < 0.001). Conclusions: HMA identified kinematic parameters discriminating between proficiency level and critical subtasks in the FAST examination. These findings could be the base for a focused HMA-based evaluation of performances following a proctored training period. There is room to incorporate HMA into simulation metrics and evidence-based credentialing standards for clinical ultrasound applications.
- Initial assessment
- Skill assessment