GE Healthcare’s latest product enhancements might not come from biomedical engineers such as this Medgadgeteer, but rather from Microsoft’s XBox. They’ve created the job “Disruptive Technologies Marketing Manager,” held by Mark Morita, to look horizontally and pull in technologies from other industries…
“The Xbox or MP3 players are designed so that anyone using any language can run them,” said Terri Bresenhan, general manager of GE’s diagnostic ultrasound and information technology business. “We’re keen on going from having a highly skilled person operating a machine to something more intuitive that can be run by people with a variety of skill levels.”
In their quest to make video games easier and more exciting to use, designers have moved away from traditional mouse or toggle controls. Today’s gamers may wave their arms in the air, run their fingers across a board or use a closed palm to control various devices.
Such innovations should help users avoid repetitive stress injuries and hold promise for use by physicians, said Morita.
In his Barrington office, Morita has rigged up a unit where a surgeon can control screen images either by speaking into a microphone or by waving his hands at cameras above the display.
“In the operating room, the surgeon is scrubbed and sterile,” said Morita. “If he needs to consult an image while operating, he needs to control the display without touching anything that might contaminate his hands.”
Another prototype borrows from a large light table game from Mitsubishi where the object is to pop the most colored bubbles of light before they disappear. Morita modified the light table so that a health-care team could use it to view a patient’s medical records–including high-definition images of their CT scans, colonoscopies and electrocardiograms–and exchange views while planning a course of treatment.
Good luck auditing that expense account. “Oh, yeah…that $4000 gaming PC, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii…those are all for market research.” The whole team basically has a free pass to play video games whenever they want…just doing some research.
We’re not jealous or anything.
More from the Chicago Tribune…
[The graphic is from a collection of spoof warnings by The Icon Factory from the Japanese version of the Wii manual]