All the work of the hand is rooted in thinking. -David Sudnow
There are a number of material arrangements of equipment. The arrangements are determined in a large part by what equipment the lab holds. For instance a stereotaxis machine is roughly the size of a compact car. The types of equipment present in a lab are related to what types of procedures the lab preforms or has performed in the past. This makes analyzing the layout of an EP lab a rather idiosyncratic task. The description will depend to a large degree on what sort of lab one has access to.
However, I’ve learned through my informal engagements with EP lab workers that these materials arrangements actually fall into two categories related to two ways EP medical teams are formed and how and which team members fill the role of performing catheter work.
Drawing on socio-technical understandings of workplace [2, 5], my research contributes an in-depth look at the movement of bodies in a surgical environment. This is motivated by a discomfort with how the HCI community has defined and evaluated “natural user interfaces” and “embodied interactions”. Both descriptors make weighty claims about the configuration of human and machine. The SST community is especially sensitive to the complexities in the organization of action in systems  and so it is with this lens I have looked into a field where new computing inputs will shortly be introduced . We in the gesture research community might consider video of such prototype systems a call to action. The SST literature has demonstrated it is possible to take a more nuanced view of interaction through close observation, including studies of science labs and hospitals [5, 4, 7]. So what would my research contribute?
Medical workplaces are a compelling setting for interaction design. They are compelling because they are important. The work done in medical workplaces has noble overtones (Sethuraman, 2006). Thus the design of technologies supporting valuable work also taken on this air of social good. However there are many other motivations for designing for medical workplaces.
A catheter is “a tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes (as to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids or to keep a passage open)” (catheter, n.d.).
The catheter is a fundamental part of work in cardiac electrophysiology (EP), so much so that often an EP lab is referred to as the “Cath Lab.” The purpose of this document is to define catheter work and why it is important to understand the socio-technical configuration of work in an EP lab.