Feasibility trial to evaluate the use of Egocentric Augmented Reality technology to verify safety checks in surgery

Lead Participant: Scalpel Limited


Research studies have shown that most surgical errors are preventable if all the safety steps are followed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a checklist to improve safety in surgery. At the moment the checklist is a piece of paper, which hospitals use to check safety information before surgery. However, recent research has shown that there are still problems with using this checklist. Some of the issues are that the checklist is quite broad and cannot be changed quickly and that its use depends on the memory and motivation of the clinicians. Because of these problems, the use of the checklist varies a lot, and many clinicians are unhappy with it, negatively affect patient safety in surgery.

Our invention aims to help hospitals improve efficiency in surgery and reduce the number of serious incidents in surgery. We are building a software tool, Smart Check(tm), which can learn from the vast amounts of data that are available in the NHS. One of the modules of this software tool is an intelligent digital version of the WHO checklist. It confirms the safety steps in the operating room and alerts the surgical team of any discrepancy to safe operation.

Smart Check(tm) is a software application (app) that runs on a head-mounted augmented reality device, Microsoft HoloLens. The software uses physical sensors and a dashboard display in the operating room. The app will be used by the surgical team before the operation to check information about the patient and the surgery they are going to have. In the background, the software combines information from electronic patient safety records, clinical information about the patient, and sensors in the operating room. The dashboard shows the progress of the surgery in the operating room and helps the surgical team to follow the right steps. We developed a first working version of Smart Check(tm) and got qualitative feedback from front-line clinicians who have used the tool.

This project is to test the validity of Smart Check in terms of its content, functionality and usability in the clinical settings. This project helps in building an advanced safety system in the hospitals which automates safety checks and helps clinicians to focus on the clinical care. A successful outcome of this project will support widespread clinical trials to establish clinical and economic evidence to the NHS through future funding.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Scalpel Limited, London £74,678 £ 52,275


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