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Envisioning Anaesthesia in 2032


Envisioning Anaesthesia in 2032


project details

Duration: 10 weeks, fall 2017 AT uid

Team: Selvi Olgac (se), Toby Whelan (gb)

Corp. partner: Maquet, Getinge Group


my contribution

Research, Co-creation workshop,

microinteractions, WIREFRAMING,


TYPING, VIDEO-prototyping. 


Helping Anaesthesia nurses to

explore, learn, and fail during



Sandbox – A handheld device

that enables nurses to simulate

drug adjustments and predict

individual patient responses.




Design and develop a system and interface proposal that reduces the attention required for anaesthesiologists to run and supervise the system so that more focus can be directed towards the patient and communication with colleagues.

Anaesthesia nurse is monitoring patient.


Field research – Understanding Anaesthesia Nurses Workflows


During the project we visited two hospitals and attended six surgeries. Being in the field, we applied ethnographic research methodologies, which helped us to understand the Anaesthesia nurses thoughts and feelings regarding their workflows and daily routines.

Insight: 20/80 knowledge

Currently, the nurses do not know the full capacity of the Anaesthesia machines because of their complexity. There is also a limited amount of time for exploring and learning more about the machine during surgery.

Insight: Double checking screen and patient

Nurses must continually monitor the patient, both through the data displayed on the screen interface and through visually checking the patient. Double-checking their readings against two sources, the patient, and values and numbers from the master screen gives assurance. 

Insight: Boring autopilot phase

Whilst the beginning and end of the operation are fast and high-pressure for the nurse, the timely middle section, dubbed the ‘autopilot phase’, is generally uneventful. Here the nurse may need to monitor the patient for more than 6 hours.




Anaesthesia nurses don’t know their Anaesthesia machines well as they could. They are not using the machine’s full potential because the sensitive operation theatre environment does not give any room to learn and fail with the machine in practice.  With Sandbox, part of tomorrow's Anaesthesia machine, nurses can see a prediction of the patient’s response to drug parameter adjustments before administering any changes. Through this system, the nurse can explore, fail and learn without risk of harming the patient.


When Sandbox is passive: User can press & hold the black screen to activate the Sandbox.

When user executes adjustments with Sandbox: User must place four fingers on indicated spots in order to make execution.

When Sandbox is active: 1/ User selects a drug parameter (Blue, Yellow, Cyan). 2/ turns outer metal ring manually. 3/ sees predictions.

When user gives feedback to Sandbox system: User can provide additional context to Sandbox's predictions, thus making predictions more accurate.


Concept testing with laymen and professionals


Envisioning Anaesthesia


In our future vision the Anaesthesia nurse will not lose their manual skills. Instead, Anaesthesia nurses will combine their cognitive abilities with the machines, performing a better patient care (speaking of act rather than react to situations and being closer and more attentive to the patient while still being communicative around the OR colleagues when using Sandbox) in tandem.




We focused on empathy and human touch. We were interested in skilling up the nurse’s human sensory apparatus as it might offer a different way of learning on how to monitor the Anaesthesia that is induced to the patient. Technology is not what makes good patient care, rather it is empathy and the confidence of one’s human abilities.

To us, good interactive products respect all of man’s skills: his cognitive, perceptual- motor and emotional skills.
— Djajadiningrat, Wensveen, Overbeeke