Touchscreens in operating rooms

Emanuel designs user interfaces for touchscreens used in operating rooms – such as on the ZEISS KINEVO 900. When robotic visualization systems like this are used, everything needs to run smoothly because neurosurgeons use the ZEISS KINEVO 900 during operations on vessels, for example. Here, the additional ZEISS INFRARED 800 option can switch from the white light view to the infrared view at the touch of a button and create video sequences that show the blood flow in the vessels on the touchscreen. This view provides the medical staff with an important decision-making basis for the further course of the surgery.

Mastering complex matters

Emanuel and his team make sure that this procedure can be applied easily and quickly in practice. For the past two and a half years, Emanuel has been working as a user interface designer – UI designer for short – in the ZEISS Medical Technology segment. Together with his team, he designs the user interface of touchscreens controlling state-of-the-art medical technology and continues to develop the user interface design for various visualization systems and surgical microscopes at ZEISS. He is thus treading a path towards particularly exciting and pioneering UI design.

Robotic visualization systems in medical technology have never been as complex as they are today.

Emanuel Haas at ZEISS

Modern systems such as the ZEISS KINEVO 900 are now capable of taking detailed images during surgery of processes in the body that are not even visible to the naked eye – such as blood flow in the vessels. The systems are controlled via special touchscreens, among other things. And Emanuel makes sure that the user interfaces of these touchscreens are simple and intuitive.

Before his actual work, there is a long research and concept phase: in discussions with surgeons and medical professionals, Emanuel and his team find out which technical functions will be needed in operating rooms in the future. "Once ZEISS product managers and engineers have designed prototypes for a new robotic visualization system, it's our job to make the devices as user-friendly as possible to operate."

Using a browser-based, collaborative tool, Emanuel and his team create screen designs, prototypes of the software application and components for the ZUi (ZEISS User Interface) design system. "In this process, we continuously exchange ideas with users, product management and programmers, who ultimately implement our ideas."

Controlling multidimensionality

"The ultimate goal is for the user interface not to interfere with the flow of the operation," Emanuel explains. "In the UI process, first we think about what we want to show on the screen and then decide how we want to structure the information and build on this to make it all safe and intuitive for medical staff." Perceptual psychology, color theory, and the architecture of interaction surfaces play a key role in the design process of the graphical user interface. "We visually design visual controls – called UI controls – so that they are easy to recognize and use and also bring a certain prompting character," Emanuel explains.

Emanuel Haas at ZEISS

Making the impossible possible

"Making such complex systems intuitive and easy to use is a constant challenge for us. But that's what's so exciting about my work at ZEISS. We are in constant discussion with different departments and our colleagues' scientific curiosity also transfers to us designers."

And their work has already won awards: Emanuel and his team won the German Design Award 2022 in the "Human Machine Interface" category for the ZUi design system.

But one thing is always at the forefront of Emanuel's work, and that is the patients. The importance of Emanuel's work to the success of complicated operations cannot be underestimated. He and his team help to ensure that the most complex medical technology can be operated in an effective, reliable and pleasant manner in operating rooms. "When doctors tell me that they found every function on the display without even thinking about it during an operation, and that they were able to use the product intuitively, this is really fulfilling for me and makes me proud."

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