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Every decibel counts!


I am Tobias Angelbeck, Concept Developer for Acoustics in Health Care Premises, Ecophon Germany. I talked to Dr. Jo Solet – the clinical Instructor at the Harvard Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Cambridge, MA (USA).

Right now she and her department are doing two researches.
One is a behavioural research project related to patients exposure to noise, with an outcome on measure of medical views.
The other is a virtual hospital in a neuroscience lab, studying how patients respond to specific real stimuli in a hospital environment.

The result was what was expected, that in the less deep sleep stages, particularly stage 2 sleep (in which older patients spend a larger percentage of their time than young people, and who have an arousal susceptibility of about 55 dB), more than half of them are awakened, and that when exposed to a single stimulus.
One could put it like this: “If you start disrupting the sleep, you start disrupting the healing”.
These are significant signs that the room acoustic, which directly affects the noise level of health care premises, is more than a “luxury”.
Every decibel counts! Especially for the most vulnerable patients – the oldest, the youngest and those who are hospitalized for longer periods of time. This is proven by many research projects all over the world.
If you want to hear more, just listen to the audio file. Please excuse the poor quality, but these was a quite spontaneous interview with a very fascinating person. If you have any other questions please contact me via e-mail at

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