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Faiola develops new medical information visualization technology to reduce errors in ICUs

April 5, 2010

Intensive Care Units (ICUs) are home to many healthcare facilities’ most critical and vulnerable patients. They are also home to multiple forms of technology and equipment, each offering staggering amounts of patient data. Recognizing that quality care is dependent upon the ability to monitor, interpret and respond to patient data quickly and accurately, a team of researchers is changing how doctors and nurses interface with health information in ICUs.

Tony Faiola MIVAThey have created the Medical Information Visualization Assistant (MIVA), a new technology that consolidates large amounts of essential patient information into one visual and interactive format. It aids physicians and nurses by allowing them to streamline work processes and ensure accuracy of information. Devices monitoring patients’ vitals, such as blood pressure, heart rate and other measures, are integrated with MIVA and displayed on a large touch-screen within the ICU. MIVA can also track changes over time. This means physicians can interpret the longitudinal effects of an intervention on patients’ health, such as a newly administered drug.

Initial testing of the device has been positive. In a 2006 usability study at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children, physicians using MIVA were found to be faster and more accurate than those in a control group. In this same study, a majority of physicians that interacted with MIVA agreed that the device has the potential to improve critical care decision-making. A provisional patent application has been filed. The research team is continuing to test the device and plan to demonstrate MIVA to potential venture capitalists.

The team is led by Dr. Anthony Faiola, Executive Associate Dean and Director of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. He has partnered with Dr. Simon Hillier, Professor at the Dartmouth College School of Medicine. Atif Zafar, Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, Robert Comer, Director of the Informatics Research Institute, and Christine Newlon, a Ph.D. student in HCI at IUPUI, are providing development support. The project is supported by a two-phase grant from the IUPUI Solution Center and matching funds from the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.