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. As technology is being introduced into the OR faster than surgeons can learn to use them, surgical errors result from the unfamiliar instrumentation, increased motoric, perceptual and cognitive demands on the surgeons, as well as the lack of adequate training. Effective technology design for minimally invasive surgery requires an understanding of the system constraints of remote 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 at Wright State University, which address some of these human factors issues.
Biography: Caroline Cao received her PhD in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2002. Dr. Cao is a full professor in the Departments of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and Trauma and Surgery in the Boonshoft School of Medicine, at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She is an expert in the field of human factors engineering in medical systems, especially in the design and application of enabling technology for minimally invasive surgery and training (such as virtual reality simulation, sensory augmentation, and robotics). She is an elected Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Cao is a recipient of an NSF Career Award from the National Science Foundation, and has served as PI or co-PI on more than $15 million of funded research, including multi-institutional grants supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. From 2012-2015, Professor Cao was an endowed Ohio Research Scholar in the Ohio Imaging Research and Innovation Network, a consortium for the creation of intellectual property, commercialization, and job creation in Ohio through research and education in the field of medical imaging. She is currently a visiting professor in the Haptic Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart.