Meet Chen, who’s connecting ICU patients with their families through sound!
The Critical Alarms Lab is nothing without motivated Industrial Design Engineering students who feel the urge of improving (alarming) sounds in the health environment. In her graduation project, Chen will try to connect ICU patients with their families through music.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Chen Chou, a DfI master student at TU Delft. I am also doing the Medisign specialization, which is about medical and healthcare design.
Why did you decide to do a (graduation) project at Critical Alarms Lab?
I’ve always been passionate about Medisign, because from my own and others’ experiences I know that people can truly benefit from its support. Then, I came across the Critical Alarms Lab, which not only contributes to the medical field, but also focuses on sound design. As I have learned several musical instruments since I was young and developed a keen interest in music and sound, I am particularly enthusiastic about doing a project at CAL.
What is your project about?
My project is about connecting ICU patients and their families through music. It is built upon the former CAL project CareTunes,which focused on turning the ICU patients’ vital signs into certain musical sounds to replace the original alarms. Although CareTunes was originally targeted toward ICU nurses, the concept of turning vital signs into music can benefit the families as a new form of connection with the patients. Therefore, this project will explore further in the context of establishing connectedness between families and patients.
Why do you care about this topic?
When a person is admitted to the ICU, their family usually goes through anxiety, distress, or other changes. However, families are a crucial source of support for ICU patients, so it is important to support the families in the first place. In addition, I have personally seen how my family copes with similar situations, and how its support can further benefit both the patient and the medical staff.
What do you hope to achieve with this project?
I hope to provide valuable research results and a design possibility for future design implementation in the context of interaction and sound design in the ICU.
What surprised you most in doing this project so far?
I have just started the project, and what surprised me most so far was how limited the family’s access to an ICU patient is, both physically and in terms of communication.