Surgical UX: designing for visualisation systems in endovascular surgery

A 45 minute Case Study by:

Tim Caynes


About this Case Study

Advances in digital technologies have enhanced the capabilities of surgical practitioners in significant ways. With each advance, the relationship between human operators and digital assistants becomes ever more interdependent and intertwined. We operate as human-computer entities, evolving beyond the interface as a control system, blurring the definition of human-computer interactions.

This year, we have worked with a leading provider of visualisation software that fuses 3D images of patient data with live x-ray images to provide real-time visualisations of endovascular systems in 3-dimensional space. This kind of surgery used to rely on contrast angiography, have significant radiation exposure risks and require large doses of nephrotoxic iodinated contrast, but this new technique hugely reduces those risks, improves outcomes and dramatically increases workflow.

We worked with the product developers and practitioners to understand the opportunities for enhancing the patient and surgeon experience, and to find new ways to support interactions with the control system when physical (touch) interactions were not possible. Through observations during operations and interviews with surgeons, radiographers and support staff, we used principles of human-computer interaction to optimise the overlay and data visualisation system in the context of the operating theatre - trying to understand, when humans and computers become single operating systems, where the interaction points really are.

About the Speaker

Tim is a principal designer at Foolproof, meaning that he's responsible for the integrity of the thinking behind Foolproof's experience design practice. He works closely with design, strategy and insight teams, and with business stakeholders and third parties, to create evidence-based designs for global brands such as Sage, Santander, Coke, Apple, Sky, HSBC and Shell. As principal designer, he is focused on understanding user needs and behaviours, contexts of use, and interactions with information systems, to do smart things for good people.