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The Emergence of Patient Infotainment


Trends in patient education and entertainment systems
Today’s hospitals and clinics are undergoing a transformation. Doctors and nurses still make the rounds, but thanks to modern technology, they have access to real-time data virtually anywhere and at any time. Communication between doctor and patient is improving by using bedside terminals to augment diagnosis and treatment discussions. Connected to hospital information systems (HIS), they can serve up x-rays, high resolution images, medical history, and other information that can assist doctors in patient consultation and treatment. Internet connectivity allows the hospital to consult with family members who may be remotely located, using Voice over IP technologies. Communication is efficient and focused.

Patients can also make use of services from infotainment terminals. Surfing the web, listening to music or video on demand, calling friends and family via Skype—these are all possibilities. But the patient can also access medical information provided by the hospital, send alerts to nurses and staff, transact banking, even do work from the hospital depending on their medical condition. These trends are keeping patients happier, giving them pertinent information regarding their health, and easing anxiety by allowing them to feel more in control.

Hospitals may monetize some offerings to create revenue streams that can be re-invested in medical care. People are accustomed to pay-for-use services. This could easily be applied to media on demand, internet access and the like. Advertisement revenue is another possibility. A maternity ward could allow key suppliers of newborn products to advertise on infotainment displays in postdelivery care, even providing shopping links via theweb.

New versus existing facility
A new facility can pre-cable for its computer technology, adding network and power drops to patient rooms and building a wireless infrastructure with adequate coverage. Infotainment terminals can be planned in the room design, and cables to terminals can be hidden in trays in the retractable arms.

The design must be flexible so that regular technology modifications during install are quick and simple to make. This includes cable and termination types, location of end devices or changes to system features.

An existing facility can replace TV sets, and choose lightweight terminals that are easily placed on table tops or mounted on walls in patient rooms. System selection might be affected by available space and infrastructure. For example, screen size could be limited by space constraints or weight restrictions on mounting hardware. Some solutions might include mountingthe
screen on a swivel arm at the bedside, table or on the wall. Such a system would require detailed coordination with other bedside devices aswell as confirmation of the availability of power and data outlet locations on the patient room headwall.

Many patient education and entertainment access systems are moving toward IP-based solutions requiring UTP. It is therefore is necessary to review existing coaxial systems to consider upgrading them as needed.

Infotainment terminals at bedside
The St. Olav and New Ahus hospitals in Norway have completed their goal of placing “a terminal next to every bed.” The patient infotainment solution delivers TV and radio on demand, as well as providing a nurse call application.

At Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital, seven maternity and postnatal care rooms have installed patient infotainment terminals to help new moms and dads educate themselves in how to take care of newborn babies. New moms can watch videos to learn about things such as bathing their babies, breastfeeding, tips for easing postnatal discomfort, and the correct way to
use car seats.

The private-sector Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital uses Advantech terminals as a differentiator and to fulfill its motto of “Quality in Service, Excellence in Care. The devices enhance medical treatment, minimize errors, and positively identify medical staff and their patients.

Advantech is proud to have contributed to these applications. We have been delivering medical computing solutions for over a decade working with the top ten solution providers in the medical computing indus-try. Quality, industrial design, longevity support and complete customization services are offered by the AdvantechCare service team. The patient infotainment
products from Advantech have touchscreens, remote control, RFID, Smart cards and digital TV tuners. Theanti-bacterial enclosures are easy to clean and disinfect. Mounting solutions are flexible and the devices are silent in operation with low heat dissipation. Last but not least, the infotainment terminals are cost-effective, durable and have UL60601-1/EN60601-1 and IPX1/
IP65/NEMA4 certifications. They run both Windows® and Android™ operating systems in a dual configuration, making it possible to extend mobile device applications to service-oriented interactive terminals. In the future, there will be even more convergence with seamless applications among different intelligent platforms, allowing people to access information wherever they
may be.

Further integration
Patient infotainment terminal solutions don’t stop at the bedside. They can be integrated with other systems in the hospital to create intelligent solutions throughout the facility, such as scheduling systems, signage information displays, and connected ancillary businesses (beauty salon, pharmacy, convenience store, food services). They can even use network technologies
to extend the reach of a doctor to remote locations providing tele-health care and personal healthcare management choices.


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