Alarm in the ICU! Envisioning Patient Monitoring and Alarm Management in Future Intensive Care Units

  • Elif ÖzcanEmail author
  • Dilip Birdja
  • Lianne Simonse
  • Ard Struijs


Today’s intensive care units (ICUs) pose a design dilemma considering the use of technology and its psychological effects on the inhabitants of the ICU. While the ICUs are designed to be technologically advanced in order to ensure patient safe recovery, the very technology that ICUs rely on threatens patients’ as well as clinicians’ wellbeing. Especially the system behind patient monitoring and the consequent alarm management needs to be reconsidered from the human perspective to prevent any occurrences of clinician alarm fatigue and post-traumatic stress syndrome observed in patients as well as their visitors. Moreover, advancements in patient monitoring technology, medical informatics, and societal developments offer new possibilities to give patient data a central role specifically in alarm management and clinician workflow in the ICUs in general. In this chapter, we envision a data-driven product-service system for patient monitoring in the future critical care context. Our design ideas and future vision are based on a critical review of the literature in patient monitoring, trend analysis, and technological developments in medical care, followed by a stakeholder analysis, the design of a future vision concept and scenario that we validated with expert interviews.



This chapter is based on the master thesis of Eng. Dilip Birdja who graduated at the Critical Alarms Lab of the Delft University of Technology (March, 2018). The authors also wish to acknowledge the valuable comments of Zoran Trogrlic, Jasper van Bommel, Muriel Stolk, Diederik Gommers (Erasmus Medical Centre, Adult Intensive Care), Gerard Keizer (DGA Care), and Michael Sonne Kristensen (Plymouth University) during the conceptualisation phase of the ideas as well as writing of the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elif Özcan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dilip Birdja
    • 1
  • Lianne Simonse
    • 1
  • Ard Struijs
    • 2
  1. 1.Critical Alarms Lab, Faculty of Industrial Design EngineeringDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Adult Intensive CareErasmus Medical Centre RotterdamRotterdamNetherlands

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