Tool to ensure mental alertness during the surgical procedure based on Mutual information-based feature fusion method.
Surgeons often work beyond their energy and concentration span – a risk for their own and their patient’s health. Accusations of malpractice are directed against this professional group and against the institution «hospital», which stands behind it. Parvital-S is an innovative solution that can measure vital parameters like heart rate, breathing rate, and brain activity via EEG sensors, providing valuable information about the surgeon‘s current ability to work. Similar technologies have already been used in other sectors like air traffic control and truck driving to ensure safety, and they can now be applied in the medical field to prevent medical errors and reduce the risk of complications during surgery.
«A reason to worry is, that in hospitals today, hassles, pressures and workloads often reach a level that makes it difficult to stay one hundred percent mentally focused during surgery. It is feasible, but it’s getting more and more exhausting. In order to be able to operate excellently, you simply have to be one hundred percent mentally and physically fit.»Says pediatric surgeon, 54 years old. – faz.net, 01.01.2016 (Translated from German)
Lack of concentration, fatigue, strong hierarchies, and stress contribute to mistakes with fatal consequences in a surgical procedure. If an operation does not go according to plan, patients and their families are often at the mercy of the hospitals.
Surgery lacks new talents: «Surgery in the hospital attracts few. The workloads are high. In addition, there is the stress that comes with it and also the responsibility that one carries is clearly noticeable. We see that people are avoiding it more and more.»President of the German Society for Surgery (DGCH) Matthias Anthuber said – faz.net, 25.03.19 (Translated from German)
The measurement of certain brainwaves, as well as heart rate and respiration rate, can provide information about the subject’s concentration and mental state [*1]. These vital parameters can be measured and evaluated simultaneously [*3]. Air traffic controllers and truck drivers are already tested for their capability to work, and regular breaks and rest periods are legally anchored.
The value of people – workers› rights, patient protection, and social services – increased today and for the future. The health of patients and surgeons should not be put at risk for cost reasons.
Parvital-S is a wearable device that is designed to be worn like a shirt and a headband by surgeons under their uniforms. The device is equipped with dry EEG sensors, a heart rate monitor, and a breathing rate monitor that measures vital parameters.
The headband of Parvital-S works with color-coded light feedback, which provides real-time information about the surgeon‘s stress level, alertness, and concentration. The headband is detachable and can be cleaned according to medical standards.
The headband is constructed of an elastic textile strap (similar to sports straps). Plastic housings (PP) are mounted on this with Velcro fasteners at three points, from which the light and plug extend. A foam pad is attached to the inside, with cutouts for the five dry EEG sensors [*2]. The cables are led through the textiles, along the strips of the housings to the back, and there bundled in the technology element, from which finally a connection cable emerges and leads down to the battery at the top. The shape of the individual elements and the elasticity of the band serves to make the headset adapt to different head sizes and shapes. Different models are offered: xs-xl.
[*1] Mutual information-based feature fusion: Liang, Z., Wang, X., Zhao, J., & Li, X. (2022). Comparative study of attention-related features on attention monitoring systems with a single EEG channel. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 382, 109711. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2022.109711
[*2] Dry EEG sensor: Article by Simone Ramser (13.08.2018). Project by Dätwyler (CH), Interuniversity Microelectronics Center Imec (BEL), Holst Center (NL). https://medizin-und-technik.industrie.de/technik/entwicklung/loesung-fuer-trockene-eeg-elektroden/
[*3] Life monitoring, in a similar project: Wearable-enabled support for cognitive disabilities, improves the quality of life and increases independence with technology built for care teams of people with autism. Measures and helps regulate strong emotions. https://www.awakelabs.com/
01.01.2016: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Autor (n.a.) https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/menschen/chirurgen-tragen-eine-enorme-verantwortung-wie-fuehlt-sich-das-an-13975822-p3.html
25.03.2019: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Autor (n.a.) https://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/menschen/fachgesellschaft-warnt-vor-chirurgenmangel-auf-dem-land-16106568.html