Mary Beth Privitera

Mary Beth Privitera, FIDSA
Principal, HS Design

Mary Beth Privitera claims she bleeds design. As an expert in medical device design, specifically in applied human factors in design, she is well equipped to design her own bandage. She is a Principal at HS Design (HSD), an award-winning product development firm responsible for human factors and research. She also serves as faculty and co-chair of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation’s Human Engineering Committee, which is responsible for writing those standards on usability that people love or hate. She is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Medical Device Innovation Program at the University of Cincinnati, where she routinely plays in the innovation sandbox with healthcare providers from every discipline. 



Medical Design Deep Dive 2020 Session Description

You Can Look but You Can’t Touch: Designing Augmented Reality User Interfaces

Augmented reality has made its way into the medical field in a variety of ways, from telemedicine and remote collaboration to visualization aids in procedures and education tools. With increasing complexity of neuroimaging data and the need to convey this information to end users, quick and easy AR applications have become available through consumer-grade head-mounted AR devices, such as Microsoft HoloLens (Karmonik, Boone, & Khavari, 2018). The MS HoloLens is a self-contained holographic computer in the shape of a wearable headset that allows the user to see, hear, and interact with computational objects projected into the environment (ibid). Clinical benefits of using AR in medical devices start with aiding in the visualization and control of anatomy, allowing for improved understanding of visual-spatial relationships.

Designing for AR for clinical practice is not without its challenges. Based on the lack of predicate data and potential for disruption in the use environment, nontraditional user interfaces provide challenges over established UIs (e.g. visual displays, touchscreens, web, etc.). Nontraditional UIs typically involve a new technology that can pose additional training and time in order for the user to gain familiarity (e.g. Virtual and Augmented Reality). 

A key to new technology adoption in any field, but especially in medicine, is being able to minimize the amount of new learning for users. Utilizing recognizable icons, intuitive interaction methods and terminology will allow users to adapt to a new technology quicker.

This presentation walks through the design process of SentiAR’s electrophysiology system. SentiAR’s mission is to transform the experience for both patients and clinicians in interventional procedures with a 3D augmented reality platform, featuring real-time holographic visualization of the patient’s actual anatomy “floating” over the patient. The visualization is fully controllable, “hands-free,” by the clinician, providing an ergonomic breakthrough for the treatment and analysis of cardiac arrhythmias within an interventional catheter lab environment. The physician controls the user interface solely by their eyes through gaze and gaze-dwell, leaving their hands free to manipulate catheters.

There is an inherent responsibility of designers working in healthcare to consider the paradigms they are inadvertently designing. As these devices impact clinical decision-making and the subsequent interactions physicians have with devices, it is a matter of patient safety.