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Health care is probably the last remaining unsafe critical system. A large proportion of reported medical errors occur in the hospital operating room (OR), a highly complex sociotechnical environment. From the technological point of view, there is a natural progression from traditional open surgery to minimally invasive surgery to robotic surgery. However, technology is being introduced into the OR faster than surgeons can learn to use them. Surgical errors have been attributed to the unfamiliar instrumentation, increased motoric, perceptual and cognitive demands on the surgeons, as well as the lack of adequate training. Effective technology design requires an understanding of the system constraints of minimally invasive surgery, and the complex interaction between humans and technology in the OR. This talk will describe research activities in the Ergonomics in Remote Environments Laboratory, which address some of these human factors issues, such as communication barriers, lack of 3D visual feedback, and reduced tactile and force feedback to the surgeon.

Publication Date



Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Physics


Presented at a seminar hosted by the Physics Department at Wright State University.

Applied Human Factors Research in Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Physics Commons