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Last year, within the Silent ICU project, we envisioned what the future ICUs should sound like and investigated how technology could facilitate this. Among many others visions, ICAS (Intensive Care Alarm System) resulted in a detailed concept of how medical alarms can be managed—and significantly reduced—through a system that interconnects medical devices and clinicians, that is sensitive to the occupants of the patient room and their activities, and forwards relevant audible alarms to pagers by transforming them into visual alerts and textual information. For example, ICAS silences all audible and visual alarms in patient rooms when clinicians are absent but forwards any relevant information to the pager of the clinician indicating only the urgency of the patient activity in sound and the remaining information in visuals.

How should it work?

Through location determination, ICAS knows the location of staff members and automatically selects the right operating mode. When a patient is alone in his or her room, patient mode is selected. The monitor display is turned off and alarms from this patient are communicated to the responsible nurse’s pager (Myco). The patient room is completely silent to ensure optimal rest. When medical staff is inside the room, ICAS switches to staff mode and the monitor display and sound switch on. Alarms are now communicated by the monitor instead of the pager. Visitor mode is selected if only persons without a pager are present in the room. The monitor now only shows heart frequency and oxygen saturation

The project group of the AED course is going to design the monitor that will check this user presence in the patient room and change the information display on the monitor.

What is the AED course about?

Advanced Embodiment Design (AED) is a by our director Elif coordinated major course (21 ECTS, 150 students) run for the Integrated Product Design Masters in the first year. AED has five expert areas (ergonomics, electronics, sustainability, user experience and design methods) that contribute to the embodiment of product concepts with a major project. Elif’s part is about Product Experience, in which she want to ensure that students consider the human faculties regarding aesthetic pleasure, attribution of meaning and emotional reactions towards products. In this course, form is one of the major drivers as students ’embody’ high-tech concepts and prototype them. Finally, students run an experience measurement study to validate their design decisions on product form and its effect on product experience.