Design, Implementation and Evaluation of User-Interfaces for life-threatening, time-critical and unstable Situations
A mass casualty incident (MCI) is an emergency situation in which various circumstances lead to a great number of injured patients at the same place that cannot be immediately medicated by the regular rescue service. The fact that the regional rescue service reaches its limits leads to an abrupt and spontaneous change of the organizational structures. In order to better assist the operation controllers in their crucial decisions by well-founded information, innovations in the field of user-interfaces are a necessity. The relief units have to pass instantaneously all the available information to the scene managers by means of mobile user-interfaces. This information circulation should not obstruct the relief units from their various life-saving duties such as triage, medication, registration and transport. Before user-interfaces can be used in life-threatening, time-critical and unstable situations, the environment has to be analyzed in details. Consequently the first part of this work focuses on the operation environment, the users, the computers and the user-interfaces. The specifications of the operation environment concretizes and characterizes the life-threatening, time-critical and unstable situation. The inspections of the users deal with their education, experience, knowledge and tasks. Furthermore, innovative developments in the field of computer technology and the resulting variety of concepts and technologies are presented. Finally a summary of existing concepts and approaches for the development of user-interfaces is given. In the main part of this thesis three different user-interfaces metaphors are examined in detail, for each of them the requirements have been identified in cooperation with the relief workers. On the basis of these requirements different concepts are developed. Afterwards these concepts are implemented and evaluated within the scope of a disaster control exercise. The different user-interfaces focus on training, triage and tracking. All concepts are based on the identified basic conditions regarding environment, users, computers and user-interfaces. The introduction of mobile user-interfaces in hitherto paper-based processes leads to various challenges. Besides the possible fields of application for user-interfaces, this thesis focuses on the possibilities for connecting paper-based and electronic information, for instance by extending the triage tags with rfid-chips, which are electronically readable.
Cite as: S. Nestler: Design, Implementation and Evaluation of User-Interfaces for life-threatening, time-critical and unstable Situations, Ph.D. Thesis, Technische Universität München, 2010