With a multidisciplinary consortium, the DIGITAL SCRUBS project is researching, developing and evaluating an interpersonal and multimodal attention assistance system for context-sensitive, neuroergonomic human-machine interaction in networked operating rooms. Through a generic interface, it provides the user with a familiar human-machine interface for a variety of networked operating room systems.

Depending on the task/activity at hand as well as the individual cognitive and emotional state, relevant information for optimizing the surgical procedure is provided autonomously and context-sensitively via body-worn systems for multi- and cross-modal information transfer. DIGITAL SCRUBS will then focus on how such assistance systems impact the work of medical professionals. The introduction of interpersonal AI assistance will lead to changed dynamics within the OR team.

In order to take this aspect into account and consider it throughout the development process, DIGITAL SCRUBS is applying sociological and participatory technology research. This ensures that the technologies developed are suitable for everyday practice in real-life. In addition, the legal framework with regard to data protection is taken into account, thus establishing the users’ trust in the technology. Finally, explanatory approaches are tested in order to increase the comprehensibility of the technology. Lastly, ethical issues of human-machine interaction must considered and examined closely.
In this project, nexus is primarily responsible for analyzing the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI), thus reducing the negative effects of the technologies developed and ensuring that they are used in a legally compliant and socially responsible manner.

Duration: 08/2022 – 07/2025
Client: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Team: Justine Kenzler (Project Manager), Maria Jacob
Partner: Universität des Saarlandes: Systems Neuroscience & Neurotechnology Unit und Institut für Klinisch-Experimentelle Chirurgie, abat+ GmbH, paragon semvox GmbH, Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik gem. GmbH

Picture: Sasint / Pixabay