The surgical workstation: An industrial designer's view
AbstractSummary Recent technical developments have substantially changed operating equipment for laparoscopic surgery. New devices offer a variety of functions, but also increase technical complexity in the operating room (OR), as well as the overall costs for equipment. In most cases, these are multiple, discrete, single-function devices which cannot be handled and controlled entirely and directly by the surgeon. The ‘OR Server’ is a new approach to the concept of an integrated single-unit workstation for minimally invasive surgery. It has been designed by industrial designers, in cooperation with surgeons and engineers, to incorporate the idea of ‘maximum use and minimum overall cost at maximum ergonomics’. It offers direct adjustment and control of: pressure-controlled gas insufflation; infinitely variable high frequency surgery; suction and temperature-controlled irrigation; electronically-controlled light source; on-demand video documentation and transmission into lecture rooms; telecommunication; data and device networks (1). The clearly arranged all-in-one device aims to reduce the surgeon's stress by directly providing all relevant information and control. A central user interface offers consistent, coherent handling and simplifies the ‘devices’ use, cutting down both surgery time and error rates (and therefore saving money). The ‘OR Server’ presents itself as an integral part of a future ‘fully networked’ surgery, allowing all surgical data to be used for documentation, simulation, training, remote applications, pre-programming and constant improvement of all procedures.