Suitability of Virtual Reality for Eye Tracking Studies in a Nursing Context

Gliesche, Pascal and Weiß, Sebastian and Gerdes, Arne and Heuten, Wilko and Hein, Andreas
5. Clusterkonferenz "Zukunft der Pflege"
Background: The use of new care technologies must be trained and researched for meaningful usage. This often presents financial hurdles on the one hand and practical hurdles in recreating care scenarios on the other. Virtual reality has already proven to be a well-suited tool for education and training in many fields, including nursing. Due to its versatility and implicit safety, the range of possible simulations is very broad. Eye-tracking allows the instructor or researcher to survey the student's gaze and attention. Thus, adaptation of training based on eye-tracking can achieve better results. By combining these two technologies, it is possible to train students in different scenarios and domains with little effort while at the same time investigating gaze behavior to evaluate the training. So far, there are no studies comparing eye tracking in virtual with that in reality. However, this is necessary to assess whether the results of eye-tracking studies are comparable to those in reality and whether they can be generalized. We aim to close this gap by comparing eye tracking in virtual reality and the real world in the application context of a care scenario. Method: For this purpose, we designed and executed a mixed methods study where subjects entered a room to perform a nursing-related task, to compare behavior between virtual space and reality. We extracted information on order and time of focus for areas/objects of interest using eye-tracking cameras. Results: The results show that differences in eye-tracking data in the care context, both in viewing duration and viewing order, are negligible in the virtual space from those in reality. Implication for practice: Training of nurses, where gaze behavior is to be monitored, can just as well be conducted in virtual environments concerning gaze behavior. In addition, VR technology allows for a fast, cost-effective, and safe training environment that can be easily adapted to the desired scenario.
9 / 2022
Stefan Walzer und Christoph Armbruster (Pflegepraxiszentrum Freiburg)