Virtual instrumentation for human factors studies in surgery and anesthesia

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Human factors issues for anesthesiologists, surgeons, and other operating room (OR) personnel require serious attention. We have established a collaborative program to use a virtual instrumentation laboratory to study human factors problems in the OR. A 17-workstation virtual instrumentation laboratory using LabVIEW® software on Power Macintoshes permits rapid prototyping of medical monitor displays and rapid development of systems for physiologic data collection. The virtual instrumentation lab has been used for four master's thesis projects and a biomedical engineering course, entitled Human Factors in the Design of Medical and Assistive Technology. Course projects have included (1) the design and evaluation of novel anesthesia monitor displays and (2) the measurement of surface electromyographic signals and heart rate variability to study the physical and mental workloads of performing laparoscopic surgery. The virtual instrumentation lab lets biomedical engineering students investigate relatively complex human factors issues in anesthesiology and surgery in a short time span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalLaboratory Robotics and Automation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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