A Virtual Joystick as a Novel Interaction Modality for Surgeon-Computer Interaction During Computer-Assisted Surgical Procedures
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Interacting with a computer system in the operating room (OR) can be a frustrating experience for a surgeon, who currently has to verbally delegate to an assistant every computer interaction task. This indirect mode of interaction is time consuming, error prone and can lead to poor usability of OR computer systems. This thesis describes the design and evaluation of a joystick-like device that allows direct surgeon control of the computer in the OR. The device was tested extensively in comparison to a mouse and delegated dictation with seven surgeons, eleven residents, and five graduate students. The device contains no electronic parts, is easy to use, is unobtrusive, has no physical connection to the computer and makes use of an existing tool in the OR. We performed a user study to determine its effectiveness in allowing a user to perform all the tasks they would be expected to perform on an OR computer system during a computer-assisted surgery. Dictation was found to be superior to the joystick in qualitative measures, but the joystick was preferred over dictation in user satisfaction responses. The mouse outperformed both joystick and dictation, but it is not a readily accepted modality in the OR.