Towards a Tactile Display Design to Support Patient Monitoring in Anesthesia

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Gomes, Kylie, Systems Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Riggs, Sara, Engineering Systems and Environment, University of Virginia

Anesthesia providers are faced with the challenge of visual data overload as they must monitor a several visual displays while attending to various other visually demanding tasks. Failure to direct attention to the correct display may increase the risk of errors and adverse patient outcomes. This has led to the exploration of using the tactile channel which may be a promising means to alleviate data overload and communicate patient physiological monitoring information. However, if tactile displays are to be effective there is a need to understand how to support the three stages of information processing in the tactile channel: (a) perception, (b) cognition, and (c) responding. This dissertation seeks to provide a better understanding of tactile perception and cognition to guide tactile display design which supports responding to tactile displays in anesthesia. The first study aims to understand the extent to which body movement affects tactile perception. The second study aims to understand how the tactile channel can be used to effectively represent physiological information in order to support cognition. In the third study, a tactile display is designed based on the findings of the previous studies and is evaluated for its effectiveness to support accurate responding when subject to concurrent task demands. The results of this work show the importance of considering movement demands and effective information presentation in tactile display design to ensure proper perception and cognition. The findings add to the knowledgebase on tactile information processing and the results provide several design recommendations which can be considered in tactile display design to support effective communication in the tactile channel.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Tactile Display, Human Factors
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