NYMC Faculty Publications

Impact of Heads-Up Display Use on Ophthalmologist Productivity, Wellness, and Musculoskeletal Symptoms: A Survey Study

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Journal of Current Ophthalmology

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PURPOSE: To explore how ophthalmologist productivity, wellness, and musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms are affected by heads-up display (HUD) use. METHODS: A digital survey was emailed to the United States ophthalmologists. Questions covered topics including MSK health, surgical output, work hours, wellness hours, and factors related to HUD use. RESULTS: One hundred and forty-four ophthalmologists responded, and 99 completed all eligible questions. HUDs were utilized by 33 respondents, 29 of whom submitted complete surveys. HUD users worked 353 more hours annually ( = 0.01) and performed 673 more cases ( = 0.07) than nonusers. MSK symptom presence ( = 0.79), severity ( = 0.80), and frequency ( = 0.86) were independent of use. Over half (n = 16/29) of users identified symptomatic improvement attributable to the device, mostly in the cervical and lumbar regions. Mean job stress was moderate-severe for both users and nonusers ( = 0.10), and there was no significant difference in wellness hours ( = 0.44). Retina specialists ( = 0.02) and males ( = 0.03) were more likely to have operated with the technology. Nearly half of heads-up surgeons (n = 12/29) had obtained new equipment to target MSK symptoms, versus 1.4% of nonusers (n = 1/70; = 0.0009). Most of those who operated with HUDs would recommend them to others (69.0%, n = 20/29), but 44.8% (n = 13/29) indicated ergonomic challenges. Primary concerns included awkward viewing angles, setup difficulties, and a lack of access. CONCLUSIONS: HUD surgeons reported greater work output versus nonusers without significant compromises in wellness or MSK health. User feedback suggests that the technology may lessen neck and low back pains, but barriers including cost and system inconveniences may impede adoption.