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30 January 2023 - 30 January 2023

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Cosin's Hall, Seminar Room, Palace Green

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An IAS Fellowship Seminar by Professor Michael Schutz (McMaster University)

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Image courtesy of Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Medical device alarm sounds have been implicated in hundreds of deaths annually.  Curiously, although the technology within these life-saving devices has advanced rapidly, they appear to use the same simplistic sounds employed in early electronic devices. Today barriers to improving the sounds are no longer technical, but merely historical.   Using insights from musical sounds, my team explores changes to auditory alerts with the potential for improving the quality of human computer interaction with hospital medical devices - a multi-billion dollar industry.   We have shown these approaches can increase their efficacy while decreasing annoyance, which is key to improving surgical outcomes, reducing physician burnout, and shortening hospital stays by aiding patient recovery.   As medical devices producing these beeps fill hospitals across the UK and around the world, even small improvements to their efficacy can lead to meaningful public health gains. For more information, see Professor Schutz's recent Op-Ed in the Boston Globe here: or his TEDx talk "Death By Beep" available at

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register a place here.