Data Sonification in Healthcare

Data Sonification in Healthcare

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RaDonda Vaught’s medical error case can become significantly preventable using data sonification such as data alerts. Thus, this can be achieved precisely by removing alarm fatigue. Alarms are omnipresent in ICU (intensive care unit) conditions when the patient under care is in critical condition. They serve the purpose of informing medical officials on alterations that happen in life parameters and of any equipment failure (Lewandowska et al., 2020). Alarm fatigue happens when busy healthcare personnel experience multiple frequent medical device alarms, thus desensitizing them. However, data sonification can prevent medical errors, especially in ICU.

There are various representations of medical data. Although the most typical is visualization, present trends in healthcare and medicine added sonic representation, that is, sonification. The new technology has the potential to prevent medical errors. Sonification refers to a subtype that represents non-speech audio utilization in conveying perceptualize data or information (Mihalas et al., 2020). Data sonification, such as alerts and the beeping of various medical equipment in the ICU, can be essential. The information amount usually carried in data sonification signals is typically not very high. However, their value is frequently very high; this raises their use, especially in healthcare. Information can also be increased in specific cases. For example, there can be different categories of warning sounds, particularly in healthcare scenarios (Mihalas et al., 2020). Avionics and helicopter telemetry can be used to modify warning sounds. Thus, data sonification can help healthcare personnel to detect even slight auditory sequence alterations or in cases where their eyes are busy with different other tasks, such as during surgery. Therefore, it can significantly lower medical errors due to alarm fatigue.


Lewandowska, K., Weisbrot, M., Cieloszyk, A., Mędrzycka-Dąbrowska, W., Krupa, S., & Ozga, D. (2020). Impact of alarm fatigue on the work of nurses in an intensive care Environment—A systematic review. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(22), 8409.

Mihalas, G. I., Andor, M., & Tudor, A. (2020). Adding Sound to Medical Data. In pHealth 2020 (pp. 38-53). IOS Press.