Low-Cost Haptic Force Needle Insertion Simulator with Advanced Personalized Learning System
Event Type
Oral Presentations
TimeWednesday, April 144:10pm - 4:30pm EDT
LocationEducation and Simulation
DescriptionThe unique nature of medical education has resulted in a heavy reliance on real-life hands-on practice as a method of teaching and learning, as it is believed by traditionalists to be the only method for the students to become acquainted with the unpredictable situations they will face during their career. Due to this, simulation has become a key element of medical education as it provides hands-on experiences to students without the pressure or ethics of practicing on patients. While advances in technologies have also advanced simulation technologies, the crux of many of these advanced simulators in the design of the graphical user interface that drives the personalized learning experience and feedback loop of medical students. Human factors and human factors professionals are needed to drive the design of these integrative physical/ digital systems in order to ensure key learning outcomes. This presentation will center around the design of a Low-Cost Haptic Feedback Needle Insertion Simulation (LCNIS) and the study of it’s advanced personalized learning system.

The LCNIS system is a medical simulator geared at training medical professionals on various needle insertion procedures by offering users haptic feedback and a personalized learning system. Haptic feedback is provided through a patent-pending system that relies on the penetration multiple layers of different tissue held within the device. The benefit of this system is it allows for multiple training on diverse training scenarios (e.g. different patients) through the use of replaceable cartridges within the device. This means that professionals can receive a breadth and depth of training experiences. On the other hand, the graphical user interface integrates key human factors principles to provide detailed walkthroughs of procedures as well as integrated performance feedback which allows students to practice individually. However, the graphical user interface prototype of the LCNIS has never been tested with individuals with a medical background, and therefore it is impossible to know how well it will be received by its target population of healthcare providers. As a result, this study was constructed to first determine and understand the needs and wants of the target population, use this information to construct a new GUI prototype, and then test it with medical students to get feedback on further improvements.

The presentation of this material will focus on the design of the new GUI system and the results of the usability study. In order to redesign the system, we needed to complete several steps: interviews, design the system, usability study. The following sections outline the details of the study and results. This study, with its goal as redesigning the LCNIS GUI, started with interviewing professionals, professors, and students in the medical field. We set out with three main goals for what we wanted to learn from the interviews. The first one is to understand how they learned needle insertion, the second one is to understand if they are familiar with simulated needle insertion education, and the third one is to gather their feedback on the LCNIS. A total of 7 medical professionals were interviewed. Conversation was transcribed and analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Data from their interviews which answered these three categories of questions helped to determine the user population for the LCNIS, which are undergraduate nursing students. This is because procedures that can be learned and practiced using inanimate objects are mostly relevant to nurses; more complex procedures used by medical doctors will require learning and practicing on patients due to its rigor and technological limitations of products. As part of this process, the interviewees have also provided information on which needle insertion procedures need to be included as part of the LCNIS training process. Preparation and human interaction, along with their crucial role in the field work, has been identified by interviewees as lacking in current product-based learning. Finally, the interviewees give feedback on likes and dislikes, as well as their perceived strengths and weaknesses of the current LCNIS GUI.

The second part of the study first focuses on using the information gathered to redesign the GUI through several design iterations. Then, the final digital prototype, which is produced using Adobe XD, is taken through a user study with undergraduate nursing students. More specifically, feedback gathered during the previous round of interviews were used to identify the flaws and strength of the LCNIS GUI. For example, they have identified that the procedures originally outlined in the GUI will not be practical as simulated experiences. These feedbacks was then used to redesign the GUI through several rounds of prototyping that ultimately produced a Wizard-of-Oz type prototype. During the redesign, supported procedures were changed to include more relevant and practical ones, the detail and extent of the performance report was also developed in more detail. This new prototype was then tested in a study with undergraduate nursing students. The performance of these students is gathered and evaluated in addition to survey response data where they provided their thoughts about the GUI. Their interaction with the GUI, which included data like number of clicks, time of completion, helped to show that they were able to navigate through the GUI without too much problem. Although their performance was different with an expert user, their errors were found to be caused by the fidelity of the prototype. This helped to show that the GUI is relatively intuitive to use. In the survey, the users evaluate the features of the GUI according to usefulness and are given the option of providing a more detailed, open-ended response. Overall, they found the features included in the new GUI to be useful, and provided additional data on areas of improvements. This information, combined with the user performance, can help in identify flaws in the GUI system that can be addressed in future design iterations. In conclusion, this study has helped as a preliminary effort to identify where simulated tools like the LCNIS can be used and who it will be useful for. It also helped to identify some limitations in the tools. The study has also helped to identify what students value in a simulated learning environment, which can help in the development of other simulation-based learning methods in addition to the LCNIS.