Philips Debuts Avatars to Visualize Vital Information in Operating Rooms

The inspiration for Visual Patient Avatar came from a hobby of the two clinicians, flying airplanes.

Philips Visual Patient Avatar Or Setting download

Royal Philips announced the launch of Visual Patient Avatar, a new monitoring solution that translates complex patient data into a straightforward visual design as an easy-to-understand avatar display.

Visual Patient Avatar is designed to improve situational awareness by visualizing vital information through animations, colors and shapes. By glancing at a monitor with Visual Patient Avatar, anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists can recall and process critical data more quickly, efficiently and confidently. This new view has the potential to provide clinical teams with the peace of mind to concentrate on what matters most and prepare for what may come next.

Visual Patient Avatar was designed in partnership with two clinicians at the Visualization Technology Research Group at the Institute of Anesthesiology, University Hospital of Zürich. The inspiration for Visual Patient Avatar came from a hobby of the two clinicians, flying airplanes. During flights, an airplane’s dashboard uses synthetic vision technology to share straightforward illustrations that mirror flight environments. This visual representation of what is going on around them has been found to help pilots confidently make flight-related decisions. The clinicians saw the benefit of deploying a similar visual approach to patient monitors, believing that presenting data and information in a simple, visual way that has a logical commonality to the patient could help reduce human error in the OR.

The launch of Visual Patient Avatar is the latest example of Philips’ long-standing commitment to providing clinicians with reliable clinical decision support. To ensure the design of the Visual Patient Avatar would provide clinicians with the support they need in their daily roles, Philips and University Hospital of Zürich together conducted studies with over 150 clinicians in two Swiss hospitals to validate and refine Visual Patient Avatar using a range of proven methods. Key findings include:

  • Compared to the identical conventional monitoring scenarios, Visual Patient Avatar more than doubled the number of vital signs participants could recall after 3- and 10-second looks at the monitor.
  • Visual Patient Avatar increased the percentage of perceived vital signs by 57% when viewed for 10 seconds, and the perceived workload for the task decreased by 12%.
  • During the first use of Visual Patient Avatar, 73% of all vital sign information was correctly identified.

“Both flying planes and caring for patients involve continuous evaluation of critical parameters in high-stakes environments,” said David Tscholl, MD and Christoph Nöthiger, MD, consulting Anesthesiologists at University Hospital of Zürich. “As licensed pilots and anesthesiologists, we know the impact that situational awareness has on the successful outcome of our tasks and the safety of those who are affected by our work. In the air and in the OR. We had a vision to simplify the way critical information is presented in clinical settings and working with Philips to help bring this vision to life is sure to help revolutionize care.”

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