INEGI participates in the development of a tool that evaluates skill of dental futures

06-03-2019
Recognition of the competence of dentists relies in part on their manual dexterity during dental interventions and treatments. This skill, however, is not easy to evaluate objectively.

It was with the purpose of facilitating this evaluation that FIMAT was born, the result of a project that brought together researchers from INEGI, Faculty of Dental Medicine of University of Porto (FMDUP) and Porto Biomechanics Laboratory (LABIOMEP).

The tool, whose name is an acronym of Fine Motricity Assessment Tool, allows the "measuring of evolutionary progress, identifying the level of aptitude achieved" by dentists and future dentists through "comparative processes of image overlap", explains Mário Vaz, Scientific Director of INEGI’s Optics and Experimental Mechanics area and researcher at LABIOMEP.

According to Mário Vaz, the innovative nature of the solution rests on the "automated three-way video image capture system, which provides a quantitative assessment" to the exercise.

The idea was born out of the identification of a "pedagogical gap" and the desire to reduce the subjective component of the evaluation of exercises with wire elements performed by students in the field of Orthodontics, the specialty related to the position of teeth and maxillary bones.

The solution developed may still prove to be useful in other contexts, namely applications targeting individuals who deal with difficulties in fine motor skills.

The FIMAT prototype has already been tested in real-world environment, and the research team describes the results as "very promising in terms of evaluative capacity." Faced with the success of the tests, the next steps are looking for a partner who is interested in industrializing the product.

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