Obstetric Ultrasound Simulator With Task-Based Training and Assessment

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomedical | Biomedical Devices and Instrumentation | Diagnosis | Medical Education | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Women's Health


The increasing use of point-of-care (POC) ultrasound presents a challenge in providing efficient training to POC ultrasound users for whom formal training is not readily available. In response to this need, we developed an affordable compact laptop-based obstetric ultrasound training simulator. It offers a realistic scanning experience, task-based training, and performance assessment. The position and orientation of the sham transducer are tracked with 5 DoF on an abdomen-sized scan surface with the shape of a cylindrical segment. On the simulator, user interface is rendered a virtual torso whose body surface models the abdomen of the pregnant scan subject. A virtual transducer scans the virtual torso by following the sham transducer movements on the scan surface. A given 3-D training image volume is generated by combining several overlapping 3-D ultrasound sweeps acquired from the pregnant scan subject using a Markov random field-based approach. Obstetric ultrasound training is completed through a series of tasks, guided by the simulator and focused on three aspects: basic medical ultrasound, orientation to obstetric space, and fetal biometry. The scanning performance is automatically evaluated by comparing user-identified anatomical landmarks with reference landmarks preinserted by sonographers. The simulator renders 2-D ultrasound images in real time with 30 frames/s or higher with good image quality; the training procedure follows standard obstetric ultrasound protocol. Thus, for learners without access to formal sonography programs, the simulator is intended to provide structured training in basic obstetrics ultrasound.


Diagnostic ultrasound training, obstetric ultrasound, simulation

DOI of Published Version



IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015 Oct;62(10):2480-97. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2015.2433679. Epub 2015 May 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID