Shaping critical care through sound-driven innovation: introduction, outline, and research agenda

  • Elif ÖzcanEmail author
  • Wim J. R. Rietdijk
  • Diederik Gommers

Dear Editor,

Excessive noise has become one of the most publicly debated issues in critical care over the last 10 years [1]. Beeping alarms, conversations, droning support devices and the care giving activities that clatter, buzz and ping turn intensive care units into an acoustically hostile environment in which neither can patients recover comfortably nor can medical staff operate safely and efficiently [2, 3]. Keeping the patient alive and stable with the help of advanced technology comes at a price: health conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress, noise fatigue and possibly delirium are linked to excessive noise. It is our plea to foster medical innovation that focuses not only on patients’ medical and safety needs, but also on human needs/values such as pleasure, dignity, sense of achievement.

In Fig.  1, we propose a conceptual framework that depicts how sound issues could be resolved through scientific and industrial investigations and be integrated in human-sensitive...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Adult Intensive CareErasmus Medical CenterRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Critical Alarms Lab, Faculty of Industrial Design EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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