Supporting Anesthetic Monitoring through Tactile Display of Physiological Parameters Conference Paper uri icon


  • Breakdowns in anesthetic monitoring are a frequent contributor to critical incidents in the Operating Room (OR). They can be attributed to a lack of effective attention guidance when traditional visual and auditory display methods are used to present patient physiological data. The current experiment therefore examines the effectiveness of tactile displays to better support anesthetic monitoring. Participants played the role of anesthesiologist in a desktop simulation of an OR environment. They were responsible for completing a visually-demanding intubation task while concurrently monitoring and managing a set of physiological parameters which were displayed using traditional methods. Three tactile display designs redundantly communicated the state and dynamics of one critical physiological parameter, blood pressure. Initial results show improved performance on the intubation and monitoring tasks for all tactile display conditions when compared to conditions with visual and auditory displays only. The most effective tactile patterns communicated both current state and trend information for blood pressure. The findings from this study can be applied to the design of tactile displays for monitoring tasks not only in the OR but in other complex, datarich environments, such as aviation or process control.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ferris, T., & Sarter, N.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • October 2009