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Interacting with the Untouchable Medical Device: The Human Factors of Augmented Reality
Event Type
Oral Presentations
TimeTuesday, April 132:40pm - 3:00pm EDT
LocationMedical and Drug Delivery Devices
DescriptionAugmented reality has made its way into the medical field in a variety of ways: telemedicine and remote collaboration, visualization aids in procedures and education tools. With increasing complexity of neuroimaging data and the need to convey this information to end users, quick and easy AR applications have become available through consumer grade head mounted AR devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens (HoloLens, Microsoft, Inc.) (Karmonik, Boone, & Khavari, 2018) The MS HoloLens is a self-contained holographic computer in the shape of a wearable headset that allows the user to see, hear, and interact with computational objects projected into the environment (ibid). Clinical benefits of using AR in medical devices starts with aiding in the visualization and control of anatomy allowing for improved understanding of visual-spatial relationships.
However, designing for AR for clinical practice is not without its challenges. Based on the lack of predicate data and potential for disruption in the use environment, nontraditional user interfaces provide challenges over established UI’s (e.g. visual displays, touchscreens, web, etc.). Nontraditional UI’s typically involve a new technology that can pose additional training and time in order for the user to gain familiarity (e.g. Virtual and Augmented Reality).

A key to new technology adoption in any field, but especially in medicine, is assuring seamless usability. While there is an established practice of applied human factors for devices with a physical and/or digital interfaces, determining a human factors strategy and application for intraprocedural augmented reality poses new challenges. This includes minimizing the amount of new learning for users, adapting intuitive interaction methods and terminology aimed at user adaptation to the new technology.

This presentation walks through the human factors and design process of SentiAR’s electrophysiology system. SentiAR’s mission is to transform the experience for both patient and clinician in interventional procedures with a 3D augmented reality platform featuring real-time holographic visualization of the patient’s actual anatomy, “floating” over the patient. The visualization is fully controllable “hands-free” by the clinician, providing an ergonomic breakthrough for the treatment and analysis of cardiac arrhythmias within an interventional catheter lab environment. The physician controls the user interface solely by their eyes through gaze and gaze-dwell, leaving their hands free to manipulate catheters. This device was approved by the FDA with scrutiny on the human factors processes.
Applying human factors in a virtual or augmented world has merely just begun and are always part of a broader system. There is an inherent responsibility of human factors professionals working in healthcare to consider the paradigms in which they are inadvertently designing. As these digitally enhanced devices can/will directly impact clinical decision making, the application of human factors in design becomes paramount, it is truly a matter of patient safety.