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Diagnosing blood pressure with Acoustic Sonification singing bowls

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Acoustic Sonification maps a dataset onto the shape of 3D acoustic object. This concept has been demonstrated in the form of the Hypertension Singing Bowl shaped by a year of blood pressure readings. The sounds produced by this prototype raise the question of whether useful information about the dataset can be heard by interacting with the bowl? This paper explores the feasibility of Acoustic Sonification through a case study on the diagnosis of blood pressure in five categories of risk. The readings that define each category are used to generate five Diagnostic Singing Bowls based on the CAD model in the prototype. The set of Diagnostic Singing Bowls was 3D printed in stainless steel. The first set of bowls did not increase in pitch with severity of diagnosis as predicted by the acoustic model. Inspection showed that this was due to artefacts introduced by the 3D printing process. A next iteration of the mapping addressed this problem, and a second set of Diagnostic bowls was printed that do increase in pitch with the severity of the risk, as expected. The feasibility of using these bowls for diagnostic purposes was tested by generating two Patient bowls from blood pressure readings recorded from human patients. The resonant frequency of the Patient bowls most closely matches the frequency of the Diagnostic Bowl in the same category of risk. These results suggest that Acoustic Sonification may be a feasible technique that could have practical applications.




Barrass, S. (2016). Diagnosing blood pressure with Acoustic Sonification singing bowls. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 85, 68–71.

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