Two computer-based anesthetic monitors: The duke automatic monitoring equipment (Dame) system and the microdame

Frank E. Block, Larry W. Burton, Marc D. Rafal, Karen Burton, Carolyn Newey, Larry Dowell, Fritz F. Klein, David A. Davis, Merel H. Harmel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


From 1972 to 1983 the Duke University Department of Anesthesiology designed, built, and maintained most of its own operating room patient monitoring equipment. Construction of a new hospital facility in 1980 provided the opportunity to design and test a new computer-based system, the Duke Automatic Monitoring Equipment (DAME) System. The system consists of microcomputer-based instrumentation on monitoring carts, which communicate with a central minicomputer that allows selection ot different software monitoring packages based on the needs of the patient. Multiple problems, including frequent total monitoring failures during surgery, plagued the DAME System in its first year of operation. Despite resolution of many of these problems, user acceptance was poor because of the large size and weight of the monitoring carts, the inadequate quality of displayed physiological waveforms, and inability to overcome the difficulties of the man-machine interface. Because the remaining problems could not be rectified with the existing monitoring carts, a new generation of monitors was designed. The smaller, multiprocessor microDAME was designed to be as automatic and user tolerant as possible. It would omit much of the flexibility that had proved undesirable in the DAME system. When the microDAME was nearly completed, however, departmental research in that area ceased. It remains for others to apply our experiences to further improve operating room patient monitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-51
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Clinical Monitoring
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


  • Anesthesia monitoring systems
  • Anesthesia records, Computers, Data management
  • Automated systems
  • Monitoring
  • Record-keeping
  • Surgical anesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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