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Wireless Alarms for Noisy Hospitals

January 20th, 2014
ideas  [html]

Hospitals are noisy busy places, which is not a good combination with people trying to rest and get better. Everyone seems to agree that quieter hospitals would be better, but the fixes hospitals are trying don't seem likely to help much: sound-absorbing tiles, whitenoise machines, color-coded lights that warn when volume gets too high. These are all good, but it looks like the worst offenders are elctronic alarms (Buxton, 2012). This makes sense: those are the sounds that are intentionally designed to alert people. The thing is, they're being broadcast to everyone when the patients don't actually need to hear them. What if we made them transmit wirelessly to receivers worn by the medical staff? So the patients wouldn't have to hear them at all?

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