The effectiveness of pulse oximetry sonification enhanced with tremolo and brightness for distinguishing clinically important oxygen saturation ranges: A laboratory study

E. Paterson, P. M. Sanderson, N. A.B. Paterson, D. Liu, R. G. Loeb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our study examined the effectiveness of pulse oximetry sonification enhanced with acoustic tremolo and brightness to help listeners differentiate clinically relevant oxygen saturation ranges. In a series of trials lasting 30 s each, 76 undergraduate participants identified final oxygen saturation range (Target: 100% to 97%; Low: 96% to 90%; Critical: 89% and below), and detected threshold transitions into and out of the target range using conventional sonification (n = 38) or enhanced sonification (n = 38). Median (IQR [range]) accuracy for range identification with the conventional sonification was 80 (70-85 [45-95])%, whereas with the enhanced sonification it was 100 (99-100 [80-100])%; p < 0.001. Accuracy for detecting threshold transitions with the conventional sonification was 60 (50-75 [30-95])%, but with the enhanced sonification it was 100 (95-100 [75-100]%; p < 0.001. Participants can identify clinically meaningful oxygen saturation ranges and detect threshold transitions more accurately with enhanced sonification than with conventional sonification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)565-572
Number of pages8
JournalAnaesthesia
Volume71
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • auditory alarms
  • auditory displays
  • patient monitoring
  • pulse oximetry
  • sonification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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