Perk tutor: An open-source training platform for ultrasound-guided needle insertions

Tamas Ungi, Derek Sargent, Eric Moult, Andras Lasso, Csaba Pinter, Robert C. McGraw, Gabor Fichtinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Image-guided needle placement, including ultrasound (US)-guided techniques, have become commonplace in modern medical diagnosis and therapy. To ensure that the next generations of physicians are competent using this technology, efficient and effective educational programs need to be developed. This paper presents the Perk Tutor: a configurable, open-source training platform for US-guided needle insertions. The Perk Tutor was successfully tested in three different configurations to demonstrate its adaptability to different procedures and learning objectives. 1) The Targeting Tutor, designed to develop US-guided needle targeting skills, 2) the Lumbar Tutor, designed for practicing US-guided lumbar spinal procedures, and (3) the Prostate Biopsy Tutor, configured for US-guided prostate biopsies. The Perk Tutor provides the trainee with quantitative feedback on progress toward the specific learning objectives of each configuration. Configurations were implemented through simple rearrangement of hardware and software components, attesting to the modularity and ease of configuration. The Perk Tutor is provided as a free resource to enable research and development of educational programs for US-guided intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6304910
Pages (from-to)3475-3481
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical education
  • needle placement
  • simulation
  • ultrasound (US) guidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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