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Ergo-X Symposium: Exoskeletons in the Workplace


T1 – Boeing
Tuesday, October 2, 10:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., $75 (includes lunch at Boeing)
Maximum attendance: 20
Open to U.S. citizens or those granted U.S. permanent residence ("Green Card" holder); provide country of birth and country of citizenship. Reserve by September 17. Wear closed-toed shoes; no spike heels. No ADA accessible. No photography or recording.
The Boeing Philadelphia site, located in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, is a global leader in the development of rotorcraft technologies and produces the iconic Chinook and V-22 aircraft. Boeing Philadelphia employs about 4,400, supporting the Boeing Defense Space & Security (BDS) Vertical Lift Division, Boeing Global Services, Phantom Works, and other Boeing businesses. Boeing Philadelphia’s complex of nearly 3 million square feet five miles west of Philadelphia International Airport dates to the early 1900s, when it housed a locomotive works and steel foundry. The present site has been in continuous Boeing operation since 1966. Attendees will see two sites on this tour. The VR/AR lab visit will begin with a brief overview of Boeing Philadelphia AR/VR capabilities. The group will then be split into two subgroups, enabling visitors to be exposed to a variety of VR/AR technologies and applications. Topics will include engineering applications as well as human factors and ergonomics assessments. Boeing uses AR/VR throughout its product development and build lifecycle. This work includes using VR and AR to refine product and tool designs to be optimal for the humans who will build and use the designs. During the Chinook (CH-47) factory tour, attendees will see the aircraft assembly process, from assembling the structure through adding landing gear, dynamics components, and thousands of other parts to complete a ready-to-fly aircraft. They will observe some of the ergonomics challenges of building aircraft and some of the ways in which ergonomics and safety have been incorporated into Boeing’s build process. The site ergonomics center will be one stop on the tour.

T2 – ECRI Institute
Tuesday, October 2, 1:00 to 5:30 p.m., $65
Maximum attendees: 20
Cell phones are permitted. Advance permission required for photographing or videorecording the presentations. Wear comfortable shoes. ADA accessible.
For more than 50 years, ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best in order to improve patient care. The following areas are covered in the tour:

  • Health Devices Testing Laboratories. ECRI project engineers rigorously test medical technologies lent by product manufacturers. Attendees will tour one of the labs and view  demonstrations of some of ECRI’s evaluation techniques.

  • Effective Clinical Alarm Management. The Applied Solutions Group provides custom consulting in areas such as technology and operations, care delivery, and facilities and construction, helping organizations provide high-quality care to their patients. In this portion of the tour, presenters will discuss making patients safer by improving clinical alarm practices, culture, infrastructure, and technology. 

  • Health Devices Usability and User Experience Data Collection. As part of some ECRI technology evaluations, user experience data are collected via surveys and/or project engineers team with hospitals to conduct usability tests. Attendees will hear summaries of some recent efforts.

  • Human Factors Consideration in Accident Investigation. ECRI’s expert team travels to customer sites to provide specialized, unbiased incident investigations. During this portion of the tour, presenters will provide a high-level overview of this service and review a few case studies.

  • Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety. In 2013, ECRI Institute convened the Partnership for Health IT Patient Safety (Partnership), a multistakeholder collaborative whose purpose is to make health information technology (IT) safer. Attendees will hear about some of the Partnership’s recent work, highlighting the four toolkits it has developed.

  • Patient Safety Organization (PSO). The PSO receives information on patient safety events from health care providers across the country. These adverse events and root cause analyses (RCAs) from ECRI members are analyzed to enable shared learning to improve patient safety. This portion of the tour will highlight several de-identified root cause analyses to spotlight the ongoing opportunity to incorporate human factors analysis into the root cause process. 

T3 – Design Science Consulting, Inc.
Wednesday, October 3, 3:40 to 6:00 p.m., $45 (snacks and beverages will be provided on site)
Maximum attendees: 40
Wear comfortable walking shoes. ADA accessible.
Design Science is a usability consultancy specializing in medical device research. The facility offers three state-of-the-art usability labs with attached observation rooms. These labs are fully customizable for environments ranging from home kitchens and living rooms, to doctor’s offices, to operating rooms. The labs enable Design Science's teams to conduct simulated-use testing that meets FDA and international usability standards. This tour will show the usability labs' capabilities and present some scenarios in which staff use these simulated environments.
T4 – Environmental Tectonics Corporation’s National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center
Thursday, October 4, 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., $55
Maximum attendees: 20
Non-U.S. citizens are required to bring a passport.
Photography and video OK. Wear closed-toe, low-heeled shoes. Partially ADA accessible (some stairs).
The NASTAR Center offers devices to provide civil and military aviation training and space training as well as physiological research and education services. Attendees will tour the Human Centrifuge for high-G training and research. The 25-foot-arm centrifuge generates acceleration levels up to 12 G at a rate of up to 8 G/sec. Control from both computer profiles and manned control with flight simulation. The tour continues with the Spatial Disorientation Trainers, which create somatogravic, somatogyral, and visual illusions for spatial disorientation training, motion sickness studies/desensitization, and upset recovery training and research. In addition, the Hypobaric Chamber will be viewed; it creates pressures equivalent to up to 100,000 ft. altitude to perform rapid decompressions, simulating loss of cabin pressure to demonstrate the effects of hypoxia and supports testing and qualification of equipment (e.g., passenger oxygen masks). Finally, the Ejection Seat Trainer task loads subjects via flight simulation while monitoring body position to ensure a safe posture during ejection and exposes subjects to a simulated ejection on an inclined rail system using a pneumatic ram.
T5 – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Center for Simulation, Advanced Education and Innovation, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Thursday, October 4, 1:30 to 4:45 p.m., $55
Maximum attendees: 20
Government-issued ID required.
No video or audio of patients, families, or patient care permitted. Photos, video, audio, and tweets only of the Sim Center and its activities are invited and encouraged, with proper verbal permission of any people who are included in images or recordings. Wear comfortable shoes. ADA accessible.
Simulation for health care professionals is an exciting, rapidly evolving field with enormous potential for use by human factors experts. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has been a leader in developing health care simulation, including in situ or point-of-care learning. The CHOP tour will include demonstrations of a variety of full-scale high- and low-technology adult, pediatric, and infant realistic computerized manikin robots that “breathe” and respond to medical interventions in real time. Also covered in the tour are task trainers representing a variety of body parts used to learn procedures, and CHOP’s unique “Operating Room 12,” which is a real, functioning OR with built-in simulation enhancements. Presentations will address the use of simulation to develop the skills of individuals and teams as well as to develop and test system improvements and the evolution to a peak performance laboratory. Depending on clinical circumstances, the tour may include visits to the simulation-enabled Neonatal Education and Simulation Training Center (NEST) and the Emergency Department Trauma Bay, where live-capture audio-video analysis of both simulated and real clinical emergency events can be captured, re-enacted, analyzed, and improved. Attendees will have an opportunity to brainstorm about the intersection of human factors and health care…a tour of the learning system and ward of the next century.