The intensive care unit (ICU) is one of the most complex areas in hospital care, as patients require continuous monitoring by physicians and nurses. Currently, clinicians are informed about the patients’ physiological conditions through visual color-coded signals and auditory alarms. Previous studies have shown that vibrotactile cues can be used to inform clinicians of a patient’s vital signs status, either in a unisensory or multisensory alarm scheme. We present the results of the first in a series of experiments devoted to examining the feasibility to use tactile cues to convey detailed physiological information about more than one patient, rendered through a lower-leg tactile interface. The current experiment utilized a simulated clinical environment with 14 undergraduate students. Participants were required to interpret information delivered by the tactile interface, for two different patients, while they performed a continuous cognitively demanding task. Results indicate that under such conditions, it is possible to deliver critical information with a successful interpretation rate of approximately 85% but not without cost to the continuous demanding task. Future experiments should evaluate more tactile patterns in order to increase their interpretation success rate, and evaluate the use of these tactile cues with clinicians.
|Title of host publication
|Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting
|Number of pages
|Published - 2019