Eye-tracking spectacles used to monitor stress among critical care nurses

Researchers have assessed the mental workload of nurses using glasses that track eye movements

checking pulse
Pixabay/fernando zhiminaicela

New research published in Human Factors has explored the mental workload of nurses working in critical care using eye-tracking technology.

A group of 15 intensive care unit nurses wore eye-tracking glasses and wristbands that tracked physiological data during a 12-hour shift.

Eye movement metrics revealed that the initial handoff period was associated with a higher mental workload than other times on shift.

Times of higher stress were connected to shortened fixation and more sporadic gaze behaviour.

The authors highlighted the potential of eye tracking technology to assess changes in stress levels and mental workload over time in an intensive care unit environment.

“A real-time system could be developed for monitoring stress and workload,” the authors shared.

Dr Nima Ahmadi, of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, shared that the research could lead to the development of burnout mitigation systems.

“Outcomes from this and the follow-up studies will elucidate the complexity of care in ICU and its potential impact on patient safety, and provide much-needed support for providers’ mental health,” he said.