Effects of an Animated Blood Clot Technology (Visual Clot) on the Decision-Making of Users Inexperienced in Viscoelastic Testing: Multicenter Trial

J Med Internet Res. 2021 May 3;23(5):e27124. doi: 10.2196/27124.


Background: Viscoelastic test-guided coagulation management has become increasingly important in assessing hemostasis. We developed Visual Clot, an animated, 3D blood clot that illustrates raw rotational thromboelastometry (ROTEM) parameters in a user-centered and situation awareness-oriented method.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the applicability of Visual Clot by examining its effects on users that are novices in viscoelastic-guided resuscitation.

Methods: We conducted an investigator-initiated, international, multicenter study between September 16, 2020, and October 6, 2020, in 5 tertiary care hospitals in central Europe. We randomly recruited medical students and inexperienced resident physicians without significant prior exposure to viscoelastic testing. The 7 participants per center managed 9 different ROTEM outputs twice, once as standard ROTEM tracings and once as the corresponding Visual Clot. We randomly presented the 18 viscoelastic cases and asked the participants for their therapeutic decisions. We assessed the performance, diagnostic confidence, and perceived workload in managing the tasks using mixed statistical models and adjusted for possible confounding factors.

Results: Analyzing a total of 630 results, we found that the participants solved more cases correctly (odds ratio [OR] 33.66, 95% CI 21.13-53.64; P<.001), exhibited more diagnostic confidence (OR 206.2, 95% CI 93.5-454.75; P<.001), and perceived less workload (coefficient -41.63; 95% CI -43.91 to -39.36; P<.001) using Visual Clot compared to using standard ROTEM tracings.

Conclusions: This study emphasizes the practical benefit of presenting viscoelastic test results in a user-centered way. Visual Clot may allow inexperienced users to be involved in the decision-making process to treat bleeding-associated coagulopathy. The increased diagnostic confidence, diagnostic certainty, reduced workload, and positive user feedback associated with this visualization may promote the further adoption of viscoelastic methods in diverse health care settings.

Keywords: Visual Clot; avatar technology; coagulation management; hemostasis; intuitive design; rotational thromboelastometry; testing; user-centered design.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Disorders*
  • Hemostasis
  • Humans
  • Technology
  • Thrombelastography
  • Thrombosis*