How Nature Sounds Comforts Patients

Posted by Erin Todd on Jun 15, 2018 1:02:00 PM

It's no secret that anxiety plagues patients as they go through the uncertainty of healthcare treatments. Anxiety can also be exacerbated by medical circumstances such as drug use, phobias and mental disorders. Typical hospital environments don't make it easy for a patient to relax. The beeps of various medical machines, bustling hall noises, even the distinctive smells that waft through a clinical setting are enough to cause tension in a patient.

There are many techniques to help a patient relieve stress, from breathing techniques to encouragement and distractions, but one often over looked element is the power sounds can have on the human mind; specifically, sounds from nature.

The gentle burbling of a brook, the stead sounds of waves, or the whistling of the wind in the trees have the ability to physically change our brain chemistry and bodily systems, helping us to relax no matter where we are.

Natural sounds and environments have been anecdotally linked with relaxation and well-being for hundreds of years. Recent studies suggest that science backs these claims and can even physiologically impact healing and recovery after a stressful event.

Nature sounds reduce the reactionary "fight-or-flight" signals in the brain.

In a study published in Scientific Reports in March 2017 researchers reported their findings on the physiological effects of naturalistic sounds versus artificial sounds utilizing brain scans, heart rate monitors and behavioral experiments.

When nature sounds were played the results were associated with a decrease in the body’s sympathetic response —the “fight-or-flight” feeling— and an increase in parasympathetic response — the response that tells the body to relax and function in normal circumstances. [1]

Nature sounds speed up recovery

Research has also demonstrated that listening to nature sounds helps you recover faster after a stressful event. In a study conducted in 2010, test subjects were given a stressful problem to solve and once they completed it the speed of nervous system recovery was measured by skin conductance levels (SCL) with electrodes.

"[The] detailed analyses of the recovery functions showed that half-life SCL recovery was 9−37% faster during the nature sound than during the [other] noises." [2]

Background nature sounds can ease patients into restful sleep.

Sudden noises, even at low volume, disturb restful sleep because our minds are hardwired to alert us when it perceives a threat. In a healthcare setting, many machines are designed to alert caregivers when something is wrong, unfortunately that simultaneously can prevent patients from entering into the deep sleep they need to recover.

One study found, "In a hospital setting, alarms played as low as 40 decibels, roughly the volume of a whisper, were found to awaken participants from shallow sleep 90 percent of the time. For people in deep sleep, this volume would wake up them half the time." [3]

Noise machines help work as acoustic camouflage to the ear and mask the interruptive noises designed to alert medical staff.

Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, says:

"These slow, whooshing noises are the sounds of non-threats, which is why they work to calm people. It's like they're saying: 'Don't worry, don't worry, don't worry. Having a masking form of noise can also help block other sounds you don't have control over, whether someone is flushing a toilet in another part of the house, or there are taxis or traffic outside — whatever the acoustic insult is" [4]

Help patients easily access nature sounds from their patient television.

The PDi A-Series Enhanced Entertainment TVs
offer pre-installed nature sounds to help patients relax. With a few navigational clicks on the pillow speaker, the patient can switch from regular TV programming and fill their room with the sounds of rushing streams, relaxing waves, or dripping rain to help ease any tensions they may be feeling, and drown out any disruptions from other sounds in their surroundings.

Learn More about the A-Series


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Topics: Patient Experience

PDi Unveils Healthcare-Grade Patient Televisions with Enhanced Entertainment Features, Made Simple

Posted by Cat Saettel on Jun 13, 2018 10:27:44 AM

Healthcare-grade TVs offer patients added entertainment and relaxation options, no internet required. 

No internet, no problem! Driven by the mission of improving patient experience with entertainment technology since 1980, PDi Communication Systems, Inc., launched a unique line of large screen, healthcare-grade flat panel LED patient HDTV televisions that have integrated smart apps: The PDi A-Series. These TVs offer patients added entertainment and relaxation options for facilities not yet ready to turn on internet access. PDi is the nation’s largest manufacturer of complete healthcare-grade entertainment solutions from 14” arm-mounted tv or touchscreen systems thru 55” wall TVs. The A-Series by PDi is available in screen sizes 24”, 32”, 42” and 55”.

The A-Series changes the game in patient entertainment by using simple, thoughtful technology and design to provide more entertainment options to offer patients now, while providing a smart future-proof choice. 

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Topics: Innovation, Patient Experience, Technology

Understanding what patients really want, and 3 ways to deliver value that matters to patients.

Posted by Erin Todd on Dec 27, 2017 2:03:15 PM

 When it comes to their care, what do patients actually say about what they want?

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Topics: Patient Experience

Less Noise, Less Light, and More Engagement

Posted by Cat Saettel on Dec 4, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Dayton Children’s Hospital takes healthcare innovation and patient comfort to new heights in its new 8-story patient tower, which opened in June 2017 in Dayton, OH. From the first steps inside, the tower feels less like a sterile hospital and more like a children’s adventure land to explore. Full of color, open space and interactive play areas for kids, the theme of the tower pays tribute to Dayton’s key role in the innovation of human flight. Everywhere guests look they see “things that fly.” As patients and guests travel up to the patient floors, they encounter cutting edge patient technology for entertainment, education and more.

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Topics: Patient Experience

Four Ways to Better User Experience in Healthcare

Posted by Lynn Schutte on Aug 18, 2017 11:00:00 AM


User Experience (or UX) is the term that describes all aspects of a consumer’s interaction with a company, primarily those interactions that use technology. It is valuable because the quality of the user experience will influence whether the user chooses to come back and interact with the business again or recommend it to others. In healthcare, this is extremely valuable. First, a good user experience can influence a patient’s responses on exit surveys, which can only mean good things for you. Furthermore, going to the doctor or the hospital is not commonly thought of as a fun experience; patients are there because they must be there, and emotions are often running high. Creating a good user experience can help ease the stresses, frustrations, and discomfort the patients and their loved ones are feeling.

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Topics: Patient Experience, Technology

10 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing Healthcare-Grade Televisions

Posted by Erin Todd on Jun 9, 2017 3:30:00 PM

When shopping for entertainment solutions for patients, providers want to be sure the devices are safe, reliable, and are technically intuitive so they meet the high standards expected in healthcare. Since technology is constantly evolving, it can be challenging to know how displays differ technically from looking at them on the outside. Here's a checklist to check the hardware and software of the televisions to know if they are up to snuff to advance your facility to the cutting edge of technology and keep you there for years to come.

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Topics: Technology

Why We Care About Patient Experience

Posted by Erin Todd on Apr 25, 2017 4:00:00 PM

You are there for the crucial moments...

As healthcare providers it is your responsibility to care for patients during the crucial moments of their physical lifeYou guide individuals towards healing with your expertise and comfort them with your presence.

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Topics: Patient Experience

How a Bedside TV Creates an Alternative Patient Experience

Posted by Erin Todd on Mar 22, 2017 10:38:16 AM

Part 3 of "Different Angles of Patient Engagement" Blog Series 

Previously, we discussed the experience of a large-screen footwall patient TV and considered the user experience of a hand held tablet, here we will look at placing an interactive patient tv at the bedside.

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Topics: Innovation, Patient Experience

How a Patient Tablet Can Become a Portable Companion

Posted by Erin Todd on Mar 22, 2017 10:35:19 AM

Part 2 of the "Different Angles of Patient Engagement" Blog Series 

Previously, we discussed the experience of a large-screen footwall patient TV. Here, we will dicuss the emergence of consumer tablets used in the patient room. 

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Topics: Innovation, Patient Experience

How a Large Healthcare TV Creates a Cinematic Patient Experience

Posted by Erin Todd on Mar 22, 2017 10:34:43 AM

Part 1 of "Different Angles of Patient Engagement" Blog Series 

In an effort to mirror the average patient's home environment, many healthcare facilities choose a large flat screen healthcare TV and place it on the footwall to liken a cinematic experience. This layout is conducive to entertain a group, but the application can pose challenges to a bedridden patient trying to utilize the interactive patient system. The issue simply boils down to the literal “gap” between the patient and the device causing some unexpected predicaments.

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Topics: Innovation, Patient Experience

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