The Mental Workload Evaluation in Visualizing Telehealth Indicators on Three-Dimensional Interface.

Publication Date: 
Oct 27, 2017

INTRODUCTION: As Internet bandwidth has risen, resulting in an exponential increase in the amount of data, one of the challenges is to transform large amounts of unstructured health data into legible information through visualization techniques to facilitate the decision-making between the telehealth managers. Traditionally, data visualization has been two-dimensional (2D), but it is often difficult to visualize and interpret when making decisions with multidimensional data. Three-dimensional (3D) visualization techniques are emerging to address this issue. This study aims to investigate and demonstrate the hypothesis that the use of 3D techniques for information visualization is more effective than some 2D visualization techniques. Hypothesis validation was performed with a usability methodology analyzing of the time, efficiency, effectiveness, and mental workload required in the execution of a task with a developed prototype.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A random sample of telehealth professionals was used. Data were collected through observation and usability questionnaires, including the NASA Task Load Index (TLX) mental workload protocol. Data analysis was based on quantitative and qualitative approaches.

RESULTS: The study showed that mental workload, despite the time of task execution and effectiveness of the prototype, with 3D technique was less than the 2D technique. The 3D technique required less mental effort than the 2D technique.

CONCLUSIONS: The 3D environment supports the service manager to verify the telehealth quality of service toward the features provided by 3D environment, especially, its capability to identify trends, clusters of interest, and perform indicators comparison.