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 journalArticlepeer-review

13 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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