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Automation in Surgery

The Impact of Navigated-Control Assistance on Performance, Workload, Situation Awareness, and Acquisition of Surgical Skills

Manzey, Dietrich; Luz, Maria; Müller, Stefan; Dietz, Andreas; Meixensberger, Jürgen; Strauss, Gero

Objective: Human performance consequences of a new technology of image-guided navigation (IGN) support for surgeons are investigated. Background: Navigated control (NC) represents an advancement of IGN technology. In contrast to currently available pointer-based systems, it represents a higher degree of automation that supports processes not only of information analysis and integration but also of intraoperative decision making. Method: In the first experiment, 14 surgical novices performed a simulated mastoidectomy with and without NC support. Effects of provision of the system were analyzed with respect to different measures of surgical performance and outcome, workload, and situation awareness. In the second experiment, 21 advanced medical students were trained to perform a mastoidectomy by practicing it either with or without NC support. It was investigated to what extent the provision of the system during practice would affect the acquisition of surgical skills. Results: The results reveal that NC support can reduce both the risk of intraoperative injuries and complications as well as the physiological effort of surgeons. “Cost effects” compared to a conventional (i.e., not supported) surgery emerged with respect to the time needed for the surgery, increased subjective workload, reduced spare capacity, and a reduced level of situation awareness. However, no significant effects on processes of skill acquisition were found. Conclusion: NC systems can contribute to improved patient safety. Most of the cost effects seem to be related not to the basic principle of NC but to its current technological implementation. Application: The results have consequences for the design and clinical use of automated navigation support.
Published in: Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 10.1177/0018720811426141, SAGE Publications
  • Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
  • This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.