A novel human-computer interface creating a framework for the cognitive ergonomics of ECG interpretation

Andrew Cairns, Raymond R Bond, Dewar Finlay, Cathal Breen, Daniel Guldenring, Robert Gaffney, Pat Henn, Anthony Gallagher, Aaron Peace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Predominantly the 12-lead Electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation process remains a paper based approach. However, the ECG in this format creates a significant cognitive workload for an interpreter due its complexity and the plethora of knowledge that is required to interpret an ECG. As a consequence, this often leads to incorrect or incomplete interpretation of an ECG. Even expert clinicians have been found to act impulsively and provide a diagnosis based on their first impression, and therefore often miss co-abnormalities. To compound this, it is widely reported that there is a lack of competency in ECG interpretation. This therefore, leads to the demand to optimise the interpretation process. With health services wanting to reduce costs by becoming paperless, we see an opportunity to use interactive human-computer interfaces to guide and assist the interpreter in the ECG reporting process. Therefore, a digital interactive computing system was manufactured to structure the cognitive ergonomics of a clinician while interpreting an ECG. The system deconstructs a 12-ECG into a recognised five-step ECG reporting procedure. The five-step procedure is then presented across a series of interactive web-pages which prompts the clinician to progressively interpret the ECG. The system was developed responsively for an online environment with key principals including consistency, user feedback and familiarity of terminology for end-users. This therefore creates the provision for clinicians to access the system ubiquitously across a spectrum of platforms and devices.Human-computer interaction in healthcare is an important research domain as interactive clinician-friendly systems will continue to be implemented in health services to help guide the cognitive ergonomics of clinicians in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherIrish Human Computer Interaction Conference
Number of pages1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Oct 2016
EventIrish Human Computer Interaction - Cork
Duration: 5 Oct 2016 → …


ConferenceIrish Human Computer Interaction
Period5/10/16 → …


  • human computer interaction
  • user interfaces
  • HCI
  • cognitive ergonomics
  • ECG
  • decision support
  • expert systems


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