In the DIGITAL SCRUBS project, a multidisciplinary consortium is researching, developing and evaluating an interpersonal and multimodal attention assistance system for context-sensitive, neuroergonomic human-machine interaction in networked operating theatres for the first time. 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 respective task/activity and the individual cognitive and emotional state, relevant information for optimising the surgical intervention is provided independently and context-sensitively via systems worn on the body for multi- and cross-modal information transfer. DIGITAL SCRUBS will thus focus on the question of how such assistance systems affect 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 or optimize it already during development, DIGITAL SCRUBS is accompanied by social science participatory technology research. This ensures that the technologies developed are adaptable. 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. Above all, ethical issues of human-machine interaction must not be neglected. In this project, the nexus institute mainly takes over the analysis of the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) and thus reduces the negative effects of the developed technologies and ensures a legally compliant as well as socially responsible application.

Duration: 08/2022 – 07/2025
Grant authority: Federal Ministry of Education and Research
Team: Maria Jacob (Project manager), Claudio Altenhain, Dr. Carina Brumme, Diellza Shala
Project 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

Photo: Sasint / Pixabay