Philips Sounds

Patient Monitoring

Philips Sounds

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Transforming the sound of care

Innovation in patient monitoring has always been a constant at Philips. But one of the most important functions of the monitor —the sounds themselves— have remained consistent for decades.

Working in partnership with world-renowned audio engineers and musicians, Philips has re-imagined monitor sounds, designing the first hospital sound environment around the caregiver and their patients. Taking a creative approach to the growing problem of alarm fatigue and hospital noise levels1, Philips aims to transform the healing environment for clinicians and patients across the hospital. 

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IntelliVue MX850 bedside patient monitor

The Philips IntelliVue MX850 bedside patient monitor directly addresses the evolving security needs of the healthcare IT landscape, with a range of capabilities that support your cybersecurity strategies. In addition, this outstanding, premium monitor offers advanced functionality, flexible configuration options and an extensive range of measurements. It is well suited to the demands of high-acuity care environments.


A peaceful healing environment thumb

A peaceful healing environment for patients and caregivers alike

By some estimates, 80%2 of all sound inside areas such as ICUs can be attributed to patient monitors. An average of 350 alarms per-patient per-day3 and of those 85-99% are false positives4, 5. Most companies use a standard set of alarm sounds (IEC-ISO) with little innovation given to all the beeps and chirps coming out of the monitor. Philips saw this as an opportunity to innovative and set out to address the critical problem of alarm fatigue by transforming the sounds themselves.

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Subtle changes. A dramatic effect.

Philips worked with a team of leading sound designers and musicians to introduce a soundscape that softens and rounds out the harsh edges of traditional patient monitoring sounds. This was rigorously tested and refined, unveiling a soundscape that’s more pleasing to the ear while helping the clinician better decipher the endless sounds they’re exposed to.

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Toning down alarm fatigue

Clinicians need solutions to manage the stressful and noisy healing environment. Too many alarms can also lead to a potentially dangerous situation where an alarm is ignored, accidentally silenced or misinterpreted. Establishing an effective alarm management strategy is key but is typically an exercise in what to silence and when. Could your care environment benefit from a more refined approach to alarms? Please contact us below.

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[1] Joseph, B. E., Mehazabeen, H., & U, M. (2020). Noise pollution in hospitals - A study of public perception. Noise & health, 22(104), 28–33.

[2] Cho, O. M., Kim, H., Lee, Y. W., & Cho, I. (2016). Clinical Alarms in Intensive Care Units: Perceived Obstacles of Alarm Management and Alarm Fatigue in Nurses. Healthcare Informatics Research, 22(1), 46–53.

[3] Jones K. (2014). Alarm fatigue a top patient safety hazard. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l’Association medicale canadienne, 186(3), 178.

[4] O’Carroll TM. Survey of alarms in an intensive therapy unit. Anaesthesia. 1986 Jul;41(7):742-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.1986.tb12844.x. PMID: 3463228.

[5] Graham KC, Cvach M. Monitor alarm fatigue: standardizing use of physiological monitors and decreasing nuisance alarms. Am J Crit Care. 2010 Jan;19(1):28-34; quiz 35. doi: 10.4037/ajcc2010651. PMID: 20045845.

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