This project developed from CfDR’s relationship with UK Haptics, a technology company developing Haptic or ‘virtual environments with physical feedback’ for training nurses. The company use a ‘Haptic Pen’ to enable student nurses to control virtual medical instruments such as cannular needles and a ‘space mouse’ to position the virtual patient’s hand. The system can monitor the accuracy, force and angle when the cannular is inserted, giving the trainee more information than current training products. Watson led a research project which identified the potential barriers facing adoption of the technology and subsequently went on to deliver a human-centred design for the human/haptic system interface. Hewitt provided Industrial Design Input to the project, which was funded by the InSTeP initiative; a collaboration between Northumbria University and the Centre of Excellence in Life Sciences (CELS), to provide multidisciplinary design, technology and healthcare expertise to regional businesses in the NE of England (research funding £1.2m). Watson project manages the Initiative and liaises with a broad range of stakeholders in the NHS, the Regional Development Agency and the business community: http://www.celsatlife.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=57 The haptic interface combined with an innovative method for training nursing staff in minor surgical procedures, will revolutionise the early stage training of all healthcare professionals. The system replaces the ‘rubber’ patient’s arms which are currently used, and provides accurate and quantifiable data on the technique used by the student nurse: http://www.ukhaptics.co.uk/VirtualVeins.aspx. UK Haptics Virtual Veins was used as a case study during a presentation by Watson on the benefits of a multidisciplinary design team, at the Medical Innovation Forum, Olympia, London on 13th June 2007.
|Published - 24 Jul 2007