Did You Feel That? Developing Novel Multimodal Alarms for High Consequence Clinical Environments
Schlesinger, Joseph J.
Cooperstock, Jeremy R.
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Hospitals are overwhelmingly filled with sounds produced by alarms and patient monitoring devices. Consequently, these sounds create a fatiguing and stressful environment for both patients and clinicians. As an attempt to attenuate the auditory sensory overload, we propose the use of a multimodal alarm system in operating rooms and intensive care units. Specifically, the system would utilize multisensory integration of the haptic and auditory channels. We hypothesize that combining these two channels in a synchronized fashion, the auditory threshold of perception of participants will be lowered, thus allowing for an overall reduction of volume in hospitals. The results obtained from pilot testing support this hypothesis. We conclude that further investigation of this method can prove useful in reducing the sound exposure level in hospitals as well as personalizing the perception and type of the alarm for clinicians.