This research proposal is a collaborative effort with the University of Arizona, with Dr. Elizabeth Krupinski as principal investigator. The overall goal is to determine whether the detrimental effects of extended inspection of digital displays in radiology go beyond tired eyes and slower reading; it will determine whether eyestrain results in medical errors.

The working hypothesis is that current radiology practice produces oculomotor fatigue that reduces diagnostic accuracy. The specific aims for testing this hypothesis are: (1) test whether fatigue reduces detection accuracy and visual search effiency in static image datasets; (2) test whether fatigue reduces accuracy and visual search effiency in dynamic image datasets; and (3) discover the levels of visual fatigue that are experienced in a variety of situations faced by radiologists in daily practice.

The first and second aims relate oculomotor fatigue to radiological performance. Diagnosis from two types of imaging will be studied before and after long hours of image interpretation work. The accuracy of radiologist’s reports will be analyzed with the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) methodology. The efficiency of their reading will be measured globally by the time needed to interpret studies and the way that they search the images. Eyestrain will be measured using physiological parameters.