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Collaborative evaluation of a haptic-based medical virtual environment.

Smith, Shamus P. and Todd, Susan (2007) 'Collaborative evaluation of a haptic-based medical virtual environment.', in Proceedings of the 4th INTUITION International Conference on Virtual Reality and Virtual Environments, 4-5 October 2007, Athens. , pp. 102-110.


There is increasing use of virtual environments for medical training applications. Simulated medical environments allow clinical staff to practise medical procedures without endangering patients. Haptic devices are a key technology in many such systems adding a sense of touch to virtual interactions allowing healthcare practitioners to practise and test their clinical skills in life-like simulators. However, evaluating haptic-based virtual environments can be difficult as gathering user feedback on haptic interaction by traditional methods, such as post-session interviews and questionnaires, can be error-prone if users misremember their experiences. This paper describes the use of cooperative evaluation, a modified think aloud protocol, to evaluate the usability of a commercial haptic-based medical virtual environment called Virtual Veins. An evaluation was performed with 3rd year medical students using cooperative evaluation to evaluate Virtual Veins in a target deployment environment. Although the cooperative evaluation was successful in eliciting a number of usability issues, there were few haptic related verbalisations from participants. In haptic-based systems the evaluator does not share the sensory feedback with the participant. This can be problematic in questioning the participants about their haptic experience and encouraging haptic-specific comments.

Item Type:Book chapter
Keywords:Virtual environments, Haptics, Evaluation, Medical training.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Record Created:15 Jan 2009
Last Modified:07 Mar 2017 12:00

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