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CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica

PATErSoN – Prototyping medical AcousTic Environments for the deSign of New auditory warning signals


The "PATErSoN - Prototyping medical AcousTic Environments for the deSign of New auditory warning signals project will redesign the sound alarms of the medical equipment present in the operating rooms and hospital recovery rooms.

This Paterson project aims at a user-centered approach to the design of audio warning interfaces, rooted in psychophysics and neurophysiology, making warning signals more informative and detectable. We believe this will reduce the probability of human-generated errors that often result in serious harm to patients.

All new warning signals will be validated in three different settings: laboratory psychophysical and neurophysiological tests, audio-visual immersive CAVE-like environment using real-time auralisation, integrating motion capture and 3D projection, and finally in a biomedical simulator environment.

Contribution of the CCG

CCG, by the applied research domains PIU e UMC, is responsible for the tasks of modeling and simulation of sound space in laboratory context and validation of sound warning signals in laboratory, immersive and simulated environment.


The project’s final output will be a library of audio warning signals adapted to different levels of workload, background noise and events. All requirements will be translated into an acoustic prototyping tool which will serve both manufacturers and sound designers. It will allow selecting different sounds for different events and understand their real effect on a simulated operating or recovery room soundscape. As a whole, this research will contribute to a set of more adequate audio design guidelines for medical contexts, and better interactions and decisions in highly stressful and workloaded environments.


  • University of Minho – Algoritmi and Psychological Neuroscience Laboratory
  • CCG – Centro de Computação Gráfica
  • University of Aveiro - Institute of Electronics and Informatics Engineering of Aveiro


  • FNR/FEDER and OE
  • ERDF: 201.495,12€
  • State Budget: 35.557,96€