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Using eye tracking to enhance training for emergency lifesaving situations

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Stretchers, essential in emergency life-saving, require precise eye movements for safe operation. Here’s how one university leveled-up their training. 

Training for emergencies

The Medical Sciences Department at Nippon Sport Science University trains paramedics for emergency, resuscitation, and disaster medicine. The curriculum focuses on practical skills but also on the high ethical standards required. Students benefit from lectures by renowned experts, practical training, and preparations for national exams and job placement. The university also offers public lectures on emergency lifesaving.

Recently, the Medical Sciences Department conducted a study using
Tobii Pro Glasses 3 eye trackers to improve stretcher operation training, a vital aspect of emergency life-saving care.

Ambulance training

The importance of awareness

In 1991, the national paramedic system was introduced in Japan. Today, about 70,000 paramedics are active across the country, with each ambulance required to have at least one paramedic on board; but to ensure reliable emergency care, this should be increased.

The path to becoming a paramedic includes extensive training and national exams. Given the critical role of universities like Nippon Sport Science University in advancing emergency life-saving education, the study of crucial skills like stretcher operation becomes vital.

Operating stretchers, especially in disaster or accident scenes, is complex. Surfaces are not always flat and smooth, and unforeseen obstacles can be challenging to navigate in order to transport the patient as quickly as possible. Proper training in stretcher operation is essential, focusing not only on the patient's condition but also on awareness of the surroundings to ensure safety.

The eye tracking study

The university's study involved using Tobii Pro Glasses 3 to measure and analyze eye movements during stretcher operation. The study aimed to improve the effectiveness of stretcher operation training, so future paramedics are better equipped to use stretchers in high-stress and emergency situations. The study measured the time and frequency of attention across six key points of the stretcher, comparing experienced paramedics and students. 

Ambulance training
Our research into eye tracking has revealed points for improvement in our existing educational methods. We would like to add the knowledge we have gained from this research to the experience we have gained so far to further improve our education.
Professor Mayumi Nakazawa, Nippon sport science University, Faculty of Medical Science

Analysis of attention

One of the key insights was that while there were no significant differences in which points were observed by experts and novices, the more experienced paramedics spent time focusing evenly on all points. In contrast, students were more likely to spend time focusing on the patient's face, and less on their surroundings, especially what was behind them.

The university research team found that while it is important to be aware of the patient, their condition, and mental state, for the novices, this often came at the expense of situational awareness like the ground or potential obstacles. In unpredictable and hazardous environments where speed and care are key, being aware of the patient and the surroundings is equally important.

These findings and others are guiding the university to rethink its educational approaches and train paramedics to a consistently higher level.

Thoughts from Nippon Sport Science University:
Satoshi Harada, emphasizes the importance of data-driven education over traditional methods.

This time, we found that students understand more quickly when taught with data rather than by intuition. In the past, education primarily involved passing down craftsmanship skills, including hunches and tricks. However, in the future, we aim to impart these skills to future generations on a scientific basis. We will continue to use eye tracking in both sports and medical fields going forward.
Satoshi Harada, Faculty member and emergency lifesaving instructor, Nippon Sport Science University

Resource Details

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  • Reading time

    5 min

    Resource type

    • Customer story

    Tagged products

    • Eye trackers

    Tagged solutions

    • Scientific research
    • Training and skills assessment
    • Healthcare

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