ASTEC Wins Best in Show Award at the 2019 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Marissa Lovett, MS, and Eze Ahanonu, MS, graduate student researchers with the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center (ASTEC), received the Best in Show Award at the 2019 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) for their "Augmented Reality-Guided Wound Closure Application." The application was presented as a live demonstration for the Serious Games and Virtual Environments Showcase.

The "Augmented Reality-Guided Wound Closure Application" utilizes a HoloLens to project a holographic overlay onto a wound to assist the learner with suture placement and technique. The project’s goals are to minimize skill degradation for residents and students at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Lovett is a second-year medical student enrolled in the UA College of Medicine - Tucson and a graduate student research specialist at ASTEC. She currently is carrying out research on evaluating experiential modalities for undergraduate medical education.

Ahanonu is a doctoral student in the UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a graduate student research specialist at ASTEC. His research interests include image process, image compression and medical simulation.

ASTEC also provided a separate workshop at IMSH for developing a telesimultion program. The workshop was a collaborative presentation with the Yale School of Medicine, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Latvia’s Riga Stradins University. During the workshop, the presenters remotely facilitated a live pediatric simulation training with health-care providers and students in Latvia.

ASTEC is a multidisciplinary simulation center that provides a high-tech, realistically simulated environment for new students and seasoned professionals to learn, practice and assess their level of proficiency. ASTEC is equipped with a synthetic materials usability lab that includes 3D printing, electrical engineering capabilities and developing virtual environments.

“Technologies like our HoloLens Suture Guidance System have enormous implications for simulation-based training. Once a student learns how to perform a procedure correctly from an expert, they can continue to practice autonomously while proper skills are being reinforced with augmented reality,” said Allan Hamilton, MD, executive director of ASTEC and Regents Professor of surgery. Part of ASTEC’s mission is to engage in research and development activities creating new simulation technology modalities for current and future health-care providers. 

For more information about ASTEC, contact Director of Operations David Biffar at