Erwan L’Her (right) is a Professor of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital of Brest, where he is also head of the Emergency room, as well as Director of Cesim Santé. Guillaume Jégou (left) is the head of the Uses & Acceptability laboratory at b<>com.
1. Why did b<>com and CESIM Santé decide to work on joint projects?
Erwan L’Her (EL): Cesim Santé is convinced that ergonomics and user experience must be further integrated into medical simulation protocols. After a meeting with Guillaume and his team a year ago, we identified synergies between our areas of expertise, and decided to work on joint projects.
Guillaume Jégou (GJ): With its focus on measuring user experience, the Uses & Acceptability laboratory at b<>com had concrete solutions it could provide to meet Cesim Santé's needs. Putting our protocols to the test in concrete situations like intensive care was of particular interest to us.
2. Could you describe these projects?
EL: The first project we worked together on is an acceptability study for wearing protective gear to treat the Ebola virus. We wanted to determine whether wearing this gear that is recommended when caring for patients with Ebola had any impact on the ability to perform common intensive care techniques. The b<>com Uses & Acceptability laboratory provided us with its expertise in the scientific protocol to implement.
GJ: We conducted a study of 13 senior doctors in the HUGO* network, whom we outfitted with multiple psychophysiological sensors. The study dealt with performing three medical procedures with and without the gear. The data we collected allowed us to deliver a multidimensional analysis of performance, physiological indicators, variations in heartbeat and breathing rate, postures, sensations, and workload in terms of time, physical effort, and mental effort.
We noted a significant increase in workload, stress, and discomfort in Ebola conditions. These conclusions allowed us to deliver recommendations on the gear selection methodology. It is pending publication in the conference of the Société de Réanimation de Langue Française
EL: The second project consisted of providing the University Hospital of Brest with decision factors as part of an investment in intensive care ventilators (costing about €20,000 each). We conducted a series of tests on 7 different ventilators. Besides the technical features, which were largely equivalent, the ergonomics and adaptability of the ventilators in the eyes of their users was a critical factor in the decision. We drew upon b<>com's expertise to measure these factors, which are too often neglected.
GJ: We incorporated various psychophysiological sensors in the ventilation equipment testing scenario. 20 doctors from CESIM Santé in Brest took part in the test. The conclusions helped us detect significant differences in ergonomics and user experience between each of the ventilators.
* University hospitals of western France
3. What did you take away from this?
EL: Our collaboration led to concrete results (publication, recommendation) in record time. Thanks to its proficiency in the protocol, b<>com's involvement accelerated these projects. Looking at data like emotions, stress, and heart rate provides a new dimension that had never before been explored in medical simulations. It makes the exercise more effective.
GJ: We are delighted to have had the chance to work with Cesim Santé on these exciting, concrete projects. Subjecting our protocols to close-to-reality simulations is particularly enriching for us.
These projects demonstrate once again that multi-dimensional measurement of user experience may prove critical in the testing phases of a product or service. Saving time and money is key!
4. So what comes next?
GJ: We plan to continue our collaboration all year long. The collected data will serve as inputs for the lab's research. During our next test, we will equip firefighters with eye-tracking technology to analyze their emotions during a rescue operation.