The administration of Mid State Medical Center wanted to make patients as comfortable as possible while they receive treatment for their life threatening medical issue. Patients need to lie still for up to 30 minutes at a time. They must lie very still for the best results of treatment of their tumors. Reduced stress has been proven to have a positive effect on the treatment of serious medical issues. Anything that can be done to temporarily take the patient's mind off of the seriousness of the situation or just occupy their mind during treatment will create a lower stress level in the patient. The administration also asked for a solution which would differentiate their cancer treatment center from other competing centers in the area. A more relaxed, enjoyable experience is good for the patient and for the hospital as they continually try to provide the best patient care available. The previous Linac treatment room had static, outdoor scenery images pasted to the ceiling 2 x 2 foot ceiling tiles. These images never changed over many years and did not create a relaxing atmosphere.
With the new linac under construction Smarthome was approached by the corporate interior design firm to propose an audio and video entertainment system different than anything done before in such a setting. Being involved at the beginning of the build allowed for all options to be on the table and a creative solution to be designed. The system needed to be easy to use, provide movie and music options and not add any more workload to the staff operating the Linac system. The staff are trained medical professionals and their request was clear - 'we don't want to be movie ushers'.
Several different meetings with all stakeholders allowed us to design a couple different solutions answering different demands. Finally the client chose the solution that was most unique and the most difficult to install. The chosen solution is a three screen solution that allows the patient to enjoy the video entertainment regardless of which position the patient needs to lie in. Music speakers in the ceiling allow for great sound whether the patient chooses to watch a movie or listen to music.
The heart of the system is a Kaleidescape movie server. Kaleidescape archives movies from the DVD disc to a network hard drive array. No more tracking discs, losing discs, misplacing discs or asking the patients to peruse a shelf of movies. The movie system presents every movie stored in either an alphabetical list or images of the movie covers. Select a movie by any criteria - name, director, length of movie, rating, etc. All of this information is presented on all of the screens in the system. Choose a movie, hit play and the movie starts instantly. Other systems require a paper list to be printed out. this only allows for movies to be catagorized by one method and then the movie has to be found and loaded. The Kaleidescape system does all the movie management for you. One of the requirements outlined in the design stage is that the system be easy to use. The technicians are educated, trained professionals and they did not want to add 'movie usher' to their daily list of duties.
Music is also an option for the patients. They may not want to watch movie or TV series, they may request to listen to music to relax them. This is accomplished in one of two different ways. First, CDs can be archived by the Kaleidescape system just like movies. A selection of music was purchased and archived before the system was installed. Patients can select from among these provided music CD's or choose from option 2. The second option provided is an iPod dock. The patients can bring in their own iPod with their music already on it and plug right into the system. The patients can listen to their favorite music to get the most enjoyment from the system.
Control was a major consideration and a major requirement of the client that the system is be easy to use. For control a 4 inch color touchscreen along with a preview monitor is provided. Controlling the system is easy since all available options are presented on the touch screen. Select a movie or choose songs, preview the movie on the technician's preview monitor and then just press play. The movie starts immediately without playing all the movie trailers included on the disc. Simple, and the feedback from the technicians is that it is exactly what they asked for. It does not add any extra work for them because it is so easy to use.
The response from the patients and the administration of the hospital was even better than expected. The corporate interior design firm produced a video with actual patient and doctor testimonials. To see the system in action and see just how much the client loves the system, take a look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnskEf1KsKI&feature=share&list=UU5scIm0anjefaNDfIVyIvLw
Client: Mid State Medical Center
Interior Designer: Corporate Image Inc
Engineer: Jared O'Mara
Technical Lead: Ralph Aleksiejczuk
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