Use of the virtual instrumentation laboratory for the assessment of human factors in surgery and anesthesia

Ramon Berguer, Robert G. Loeb, Warren D. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


There is a growing consensus that human factors issues for anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other operating room personnel require serious attention. We have established a program of collaboration between the University of California Davis Medical Center Departments of Anesthesiology and Surgery and the California State University Sacramento Biomedical Engineering Program to address ergonomic problems in anesthesiology and surgery using a Virtual Instrumentation Laboratory. A 17-workstation Virtual Instrument Laboratory using LabVIEW software on Power Macintosh platforms permits rapid prototyping of medical monitor displays as well as rapid development of data acquisition and processing circuits for physiologic data collection. The Virtual Instrument Lab has been used for three Master's thesis projects and a BME course titled Human Factors in the Design of Medical and Assistive Technology. Course projects have included: 1) The design of novel physiologic data displays for potential use in anesthesia workstations, and 2) The measurement of surface electromyographic signals and heart rate variability to investigate the physical and mental workload of performing laparoscopic surgery. The Virtual Instrument Lab allows BME students to investigate relatively complex human factors issues in anesthesiology and surgery in a short time span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalStudies in health technology and informatics
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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