Novel pulse oximetry sonifications for neonatal oxygen saturation monitoring: a laboratory study

Hinckfuss, Kelly, Sanderson, Penelope, Loeb, Robert G., Liley, Helen G. and Liu, David (2016) Novel pulse oximetry sonifications for neonatal oxygen saturation monitoring: a laboratory study. Human Factors, 58 2: 344-359. doi:10.1177/0018720815617406


Author Hinckfuss, Kelly
Sanderson, Penelope
Loeb, Robert G.
Liley, Helen G.
Liu, David
Title Novel pulse oximetry sonifications for neonatal oxygen saturation monitoring: a laboratory study
Journal name Human Factors   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1547-8181
0018-7208
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0018720815617406
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 58
Issue 2
Start page 344
End page 359
Total pages 16
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA, United States
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Subject 3307 Human Factors and Ergonomics
3202 Applied Psychology
2802 Behavioral Neuroscience
Abstract Objective We aimed to test whether the use of novel pulse oximetry sounds (sonifications) better informs listeners when a neonate's oxygen saturation (SpO) deviates from the recommended range. Background Variable-pitch pulse oximeters do not accurately inform clinicians via sound alone when SpO is outside the target range of 90% to 95% for neonates on supplemental oxygen. Risk of blindness, organ damage, and death increase if SpO remains outside the target range. A more informative sonification may improve clinicians' ability to maintain the target range. Method In two desktop experiments, nonclinicians' ability to detect SpO range and direction of change was tested with novel versus conventional sonifications of simulated patient data. In Experiment 1, a "shoulder" sonification used larger pitch differences between adjacent saturation percentages for SpO values outside the target range. In Experiment 2, a "beacon" sonification used equal-appearing pitch differences, but when SpO was outside the target range, a fixed-pitch reference tone from the center of the target SpO range preceded every fourth pulse tone. Results The beacon sonification improved range identification accuracy over the control display (85% vs. 60%; p <.001), but the shoulder sonification did not (55% vs. 52%). Conclusion The beacon provided a distinct auditory alert and reference that significantly improved nonclinical participants' ability to identify SpO range. Application Adding a beacon to the variable-pitch pulse oximeter sound may help clinicians identify when, and by how much, a neonate's SpO deviates from the target range, particularly during patient transport situations when auditory information becomes essential.
Formatted abstract
Objective: We aimed to test whether the use of novel pulse oximetry sounds (sonifications) better informs listeners when a neonate’s oxygen saturation (SpO2) deviates from the recommended range.
Background: Variable-pitch pulse oximeters do not accurately inform clinicians via sound alone when SpO2 is outside the target range of 90% to 95% for neonates on supplemental oxygen. Risk of blindness, organ damage, and death increase if SpO2 remains outside the target range. A more informative sonification may improve clinicians’ ability to maintain the target range.
Method: In two desktop experiments, nonclinicians’ ability to detect SpO2 range and direction of change was tested with novel versus conventional sonifications of simulated patient data. In Experiment 1, a “shoulder” sonification used larger pitch differences between adjacent saturation percentages for SpO2 values outside the target range. In Experiment 2, a “beacon” sonification used equal-appearing pitch differences, but when SpO2 was outside the target range, a fixed-pitch reference tone from the center of the target SpO2 range preceded every fourth pulse tone.
Results: The beacon sonification improved range identification accuracy over the control display (85% vs. 60%; p < .001), but the shoulder sonification did not (55% vs. 52%).
Conclusion: The beacon provided a distinct auditory alert and reference that significantly improved nonclinical participants’ ability to identify SpO2 range.
Application: Adding a beacon to the variable-pitch pulse oximeter sound may help clinicians identify when, and by how much, a neonate’s SpO2 deviates from the target range, particularly during patient transport situations when auditory information becomes essential.
Keyword Auditory displays
Critical care
Medical devices and technologies
Pediatrics and neonatology
Sonification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP140101822
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 29 December 2015

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Mater Research Institute-UQ (MRI-UQ)
Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
 
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