THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 556.5 Guest: Michael Koss, Koss Electronics, Milwaukee, WI Topic: Quieting the noise for newborns in ICU Producer/Host: Steve Girard

NEMA: Quiet in the ICU!...in a moment...

SPOT: NEMA...the National Emergency Medicine Association... fights our worst health enemies - heart disease, stroke, trauma. Call 800-332-6362.

NEMA: Koss Electronics and the Wisconsin Medical College have teamed up on a study to assess how newborns in hospital ICUs deal with the constant noise. Michael Koss...says a cardiologist friend was frustrated...

KOSS: He couldn't tell if they were over or under medicated, or if they were suffering from sleep deprivation. It triggered an idea...and I started talking with the people at the Koss Auditory Center about different applications for this new noise canceling stereophone that we'd come up with.

NEMA: How does the equipment work?

KOSS: It's a very tiny stereophone that they place on the head...then there's a small box that can lay in the isolette with them. And the way it works is there are two microphones, one in each earcup, and they listen to the outside noise...algorithms predict what the sound is going to look like in the future, and then a new signal is sent up to the stereo headphones, with that predicted signal, so that it arrives at the ear at the same time that the incoming sound wave comes, so that the two cancel one another out.

NEMA: We should have some preliminary results on how the babies are doing in a few months. I'm Steve Girard for the Heart of the Matter.

* NEMA note...J. Koss says that this tech enables them to check on a babies hearing at that stage by using tones and a neural electrode cap to gauge the babies response to sounds...so it's a natural that they'll be able to tell if the babies vital signs or sleep patterns are affected by deleting the noise in the ICU.