Leveraging the Healing Power of Sound to Reduce Stress and Anxiety for Frontline Healthcare Workers

Spatial
Spatial’s immersive audio platform combined with HealthTunes evidence-based ‘MusicMedicine’ allows nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals to choose a soundscape such as forest or a deep sea dive, combined with low frequency pulses that entrain relaxed brain states and relax the parasympathetic nervous system to transport staff away from the pressure of the hospital.

Partnership
The partnership between Spatial, HealthTunes, and Catalyst was developed in response to the overwhelming stress and anxiety brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis.

A recent Washington Post/Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) survey found that 62% of healthcare workers responsible for providing direct care for COVID-19 patients reported challenging mental health repercussions. 55% reported feeling burnout (mental and physical exhaustion from chronic workplace stress) and 49% reported feeling anxious. Three in ten frontline workers considered leaving the healthcare field altogether, and 13% have sought out and received mental health services.

This partnership is aimed at reversing these trends through the healing power of sound. In this inaugural project, Catalyst by Wellstar, piloted Spatial’s immersive sound technology in wellness rooms under construction at four of its medical centers. These rooms function as therapeutic spaces for healthcare workers to relax and recharge in tranquil, completely immersive audio environments.

Evidence shows that experiential sound works effectively as a therapeutic tool, but it is vastly underutilized in practical settings.

Hank Capps, MD FAAFP
Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer of Wellstar Health System

To make this happen, HealthTunes licensed their content and built fully immersive versions of the soundscapes on Spatial’s platform for hospital and wellness center deployments. HealthTunes incorporates auditory beat stimulation to increase the strength of positive brain waves through a process called entrainment. Through their proprietary algorithm, HealthTunes inlays binaural beats and isochronic tones into playlists to influence and entrain brain wave patterns which help decrease stress and anxiety, increase relation, improve sleep, and more.

Benefits
Through these wellness rooms, Wellstar team members are receiving relief during their stressful and long days in the hospital. Sound therapy has provided an effective way to decompress without leaving work, increasing the wellbeing of team members and their ability to treat patients optimally. Bu testing these environments, Catalyst by Wellstar is creating real-world evidence for how sound therapy can improve healthcare teams wellbeing, as well as other workplaces that would benefit from Spatial’s technology.

Results
“The immersive wellness rooms present an exciting opportunity for Wellstar to leverage the healing power of sound for our clinical team members. Thanks to Spatial’s technology, health systems can be empowered to find innovative ways to promote the mental wellbeing of their teams while paving the way for the technology’s use in patient-facing settings.”  – Hank Capps, MD FAAFP, Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer of Wellstar Health System.

Future
“Spatial’s software enables creators to design immersive experiences with sound as a core sensory modality, opening the door for independent researchers to study the impacts of sound on human emotion, recovery, therapy and more,” said Calin Pacurariu, co-founder and CEO of Spatial. “We are honored to work with HealthTunes and Catalyst by Wellstar to enable the healing power of sound to help frontline healthcare workers manage the stress and anxiety present in their daily work environment. As we continue to partner with leaders in the audio and health sectors, the possibilities for sound as a therapeutic tool are tremendous.