Synergies through hybrid systems.

TH – 02/2019

Interactions between humans and intelligent technologies are steadily increasing. In order to explore the opportunities that this creates, the EU-funded Smartnurse project has set itself the goal of developing a strategy for transforming the results of a series of experiments on using computer technologies to train emergency nurses into a system which can then be used in real-life settings.


The aim of the project is to determine the extent to which humans and machines can complement each other’s specific capabilities in order to reach objectives that neither could achieve on their own.

Intelligent technologies

In one of the project’s experiments, nursing students were given an ‘intelligent assistant’ during the simulated resuscitation of an unresponsive patient. This consisted of a display that was attached to the student’s head. The portable intelligent assistant can evaluate the effect of certain activities, e.g. chest compressions during a resuscitation attempt, and then provide feedback in real time. It also provides a range of information on the display when requested, including suggestions on how to proceed, immediate answers to medical questions, and information about hospital regulations.


Other experiments in the project demonstrated the use of a smartwatch equipped with a sensor. This smartwatch records activities related to patient care and can provide information on areas such as resuscitation. Even a single sensor node on a nurse’s wrist could recognise complex actions and evaluate them.

Cross-border cooperation

The experiments were carried out jointly by the two project partners, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and the University of Southampton. The DFKI was responsible for the technology, and the University of Southampton provided the experimental setting in the form of its nursing school. The researchers now want to determine whether elements from this study and similar studies are suitable for putting into practice. Of particular interest are technical, regulatory, financial and social issues related to the use of such systems, including their use in nursing schools and later hospitals.