Junho Choi (EngSci 1T5)

I had the opportunity to work as a summer research assistant at the Human Factors and Applied Statistics Lab (HFASt) in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering of the University of Toronto under the supervision of Mr. Farzan Sasangohar between May 2013 and August 2013. Mr. Sasangohar is a Ph.D. Candidate in HFASt and HumanEra, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at University Health Network. Mr. Sasangohar’s research focuses on investigating interruptions faced by nurses in Intensive Care Units (ICU) during safety-critical tasks and evaluating systematic mitigation methods to manage such interruptions.
I was mainly responsible for developing a mobile application for Apple iPad called Event Observer for supporting the observational studies in clinical settings. The main objectives of the application were (1) to collect observational data about events that interrupt nurses in the ICU (e.g., interrupter types, interrupted task, and interruption content), (2) to generate the output data in comma-separated values (CSV for short) format to be opened as a spreadsheet, and (3) to provide some high-level analysis of the collected data. In order to achieve these goals, I met my supervisor weekly to discuss design choices and to report my progress.
My overall contribution to the research was developing an easy-to-use data collection tool that is less complex and more portable than currently available alternatives. In the previous phases of the research, the team used data collection tools that were unnecessarily complex, non-reliable, and were used on portable PCs, which are heavy to carry for several hours of observation. The output data was also difficult to understand and analyze. By developing a high-fidelity prototype that facilitates data collection, I contributed to the future phases of the research and potentially other clinical observational studies.