New ergonomic guidelines for laparoscopic instruments.Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol. 2001 May; 10(3):163-7.MI
Most laparoscopic instrument development is technology-driven. In this approach to instrument design, the physical and emotional comfort of the users is not always considered, leading to a user-unfriendly product design. One reason for this flaw in the design of instruments is the lack of standards in this field. Our study presents a new set of design guidelines for one type of instruments used in laparoscopic surgery, namely 'instruments for intensely manipulating tissue'. These guidelines cover technical comfort, user friendliness and the emotional comfort of the user-group. In situ and pelvi-trainer tests were performed to illustrate the poor performance of the instruments and equipment that are currently being used. The three comfort areas were studied both objectively and subjectively, and guidelines for instrument function groups were set up and validated. New instruments are designed and tested according to these new guidelines. The results of our studies show that our new instruments score better on all three levels than currently available instruments. Therefore, our conclusion is that products should not be designed exclusively according to technical guidelines and new technologies; the physical, cognitive and emotional comfort of the users should also be considered, to create an optimal human-product interaction.