New alarms that whistle and sing are designed to lessen hospital noise

July 19, 2019

Hospitals today can be sonic nightmares with a range of jarring alarm and monitor sounds, which studies have shown regularly exceed levels set by the World Health Organization, according to an article on The New York Times website.

Droning IV pumps, ding-donging nurse call buttons, voices crackling on loudspeakers, ringing telephones, beeping elevators, buzzing ID scanners, clattering carts are just the beginning.

A single patient might trigger hundreds of jarring alarms each day. But a group of experts is currently developing tones that replace the current alarms with signals that mimic electronic dance music or a heartbeat.

They group's efforts are focused on making alarms quieter and designing systems of visual cues — like interactive screens that look like paintings.

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