gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Consideration of ergonomic aspects in the development of a navigation system for neuroendoscopy

Ergonomische Aspekte bei der Entwicklung eines Navigationssystems für die Neuroendoskopie

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author M. Scholz - Neurochirurgische Universitätsklinik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • B. Fricke - Abteilung für Neuroanatomie, Institut für Anatomie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • M. Engelhardt - Neurochirurgische Universitätsklinik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • S. Tombrock - Zentrum für Neuroinformatik, University of Applied Sciences (FH) Köln
  • A. Harders - Neurochirurgische Universitätsklinik, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • W. Konen - Abteilung für Informatik, University of Applied Sciences (FH) Köln

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocP 01.7

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Scholz et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: During the development of new navigation systems, the ergonomic aspects of the accompanying software are seldom taken into account. The VN system is a navigation system working with real and previously stored neuroendoscopic images. The latter enables the module to execute virtual back movement, e.g. in case of bleeding. Several other modules are offered. The aim of the study was the ergonomic analysis of different modules and their learning curves in cadaveric heads. The endoscope was navigated by the neurosurgeon while another person operated the computer.

Methods: The VN system consists of a conventional personal computer with the VN application program, an optical positioning measurement system (OPMS) (Philips, Eindhoven, Netherlands) and a rigid endoscope (5.9 mm, Type Camaert; Wolf, Knittlingen, Germany) with special infrared light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The VN system operates on a Windows NT workstation and the software was developed using the computer language Visual C++. Experiments were carried out in the laboratory under operating room conditions. Three specimens of human cadaveric heads were used. A total of 128 experiments were performed with two software versions. The endoscope was navigated by the neurosurgeon while another person operated the computer.

Results: During the first series of experiments with software version 1 the longest time required to set a landmark was 65.66 sec (Experiment 2). The shortest time measured was 8.17 sec. When the landmark tracking module was used, a real learning curve could be observed. In contrast, testing the measurement module did not produce a learning curve. A significant reduction of the time required by the three modules investigated could be observed with software version 2. The module for virtual back movement works best with a minimum time of 20 s for image storage.

Conclusions: During machine-human interactions ergonomic software use is important, especially if operative procedures are performed.