Latest Zest Technologies News
Sep 21, 2021
For most people, hospital stays can be an anxiety-filled experience, but what if patients had the chance to enjoy their favorite shows while recovering or preparing for surgery right from their bed? That's exactly what a digital signage effort is doing in the U.K. The University Hospital of North Durham in England installed the Hibox Smartroom Health IPTV and digital signage system earlier this summer. Provided Sept. 21, 2021 For most people, hospital stays can be an anxiety-filled experience, but what if patients had the chance to enjoy their favorite shows while recovering or preparing for surgery right from their bed? Two large U.K. hospital networks are doing just that and improving the patient-stay experience, along with better communications and efficiency via a multi-screen CMS called Smartroom Health, designed by Hibox Systems, a TV and display solutions provider. The digital signage has been deployed at three hospitals through the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust in England, Darlington Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of North Durham and Bishop Auckland Hospital. The network's staff employ about 7,500 people and serve more than 650,000 residents. Hibox Smartroom is a hospitality TV and multi-display system providing entertainment, information and communication services. Hibox introduced the system in 2005 and services more than10 million end-users worldwide. The idea behind Smartroom Health came from a hospital in Finland that had success with an IPTV system, combining entertainment and information on patient screens, according to Danny Shaw, VP of global sales at Hibox Systems. "What we and the hospital found was that our architecture, which was created originally for hospitality and residential home use, was also flexible for healthcare use," Shaw said in an email to Digital Signage Today. "For instance, the way our platform was designed allows for easy integration of third-party applications and devices/hardware." Shaw Hibox Systems discovered it could combine its technologies with kiosk check-in services, nurse call systems, wayfinding, and scheduling systems for room management. Additional features of the Hibox system include patient TV entertainment, managed from the same server. The company believes it will lead to better operational efficiency and save time, as opposed to multi-server systems. Through Smartroom Health, hospitals within the network can offer content on more than 40 screens and door displays, according to Nigel Hauxwell, IT manager for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust. "The installation went smoothly and we can now control display screens from just one server, getting maximum value from our IT budget," Hauxwell said in a press release. Large displays in public spaces provide real-time information to patients, visitors and staff, including general information, waiting times, news, messages and café menus. Smaller screens, showing current and upcoming reservations, have been installed on doorways outside meeting rooms. The project was managed by video producer Zest Technologies, a UK-based company formerly known as Garland Partners. "At Zest, as experts in IPTV and digital solutions, we ensure the solutions we offer will be reliable and secure, are cost effective and are easy to manage," Lorna Garrett, managing director of Zest Technologies, said in the release. County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust reached out to Hibox Systems in the summer of 2020 with interest in the company's digital signage system. "County Durham had a goal of consolidating several servers that managed their digital signage as on-premise solutions with a centralized server to manage all screens in all four hospital locations," Shaw said. "Hibox was approached since we are a true multi-tenant cloud or hosted solution that allows for each hospital to be set up and managed individually, all from the same server." Each hospital can use customized content and every screen can have a specific look and feel, but the system is solely managed by Hibox software. Shaw declined to specify the total cost of the system rollout, but said little training was needed to implement the network. "We were delighted to be able to make an agreement and install our Smartroom system in just a few months, and that Smartroom Health lives up to the visions and expectations of the Trust, delivering an engaging experience to patients and staff," Staffan Granholm, Hibox Systems CEO, said in the release. With funding expenses always in question, hospitals in the U.K have been somewhat reluctant to try new technologies. Granholm, however, hopes more hospitals there will jump on the digital signage network. Shaw said Hibox Systems has discussed plans with another NHS Trust in the U.K. with interest in using its IPTV system and digital signage. Through the system, patients could stream shows from Netflix and other streaming apps to the TVs and staff could share schedules, along with other information. For doctors, health records could be displayed from their own devices straight to a patient's TV. "They have a very futuristic and progressive view of how technology can help their patients feel more like being at home, while giving staff more information and flexibility or efficiencies with how to communicate information to the patients," Shaw said of NHS considering the Smartroom system. Hibox, founded in 2005, is part of the Accedo Group, and is based in Turku, Finland. Representatives from the hospital networks were unavailable for comment.
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