Operating at a Distance-How a Teleoperated Surgical Robot Reconfigures Teamwork in the Operating Room

Hannah Pelikan, Amy Cheatle, Malte Jung, Steven Jackson

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper investigates how a teleoperated surgical robot reconfigures teamwork in the operating room by spatially redistributing team members. We report on findings from two years of fieldwork at two hospitals, including interviews and video data. We find that while in non-robotic cases team members huddle together, physically touching, introduction of a surgical robot increases physical and sensory distance between team members. This spatial rearrangement has implications for both cognitive and affective dimensions of collaborative surgical work. Cognitive distance is increased, necessitating new efforts to maintain situation awareness and common ground. Moreover, affective distance is introduced, decreasing sensitivity to shared and non-shared affective states and leading to new practices aimed at restoring affective connection within the team. We describe new forms of physical, cognitive, and affective distance associated with teleoperated robotic surgery, and the effects these have on power distribution, practice, and collaborative experience within the surgical team.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number138
    JournalACM Proceedings on Human-Computer Interaction
    Issue numberCSCW
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018
    Event21st ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing 2018 - New York, United States
    Duration: 3 Nov 20187 Nov 2018
    Conference number: 21


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