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Digital Signage for Healthcare

Dec 27, 2011 10:48 AM, With Bennett Liles

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Right and how does Keywest Technology’s MediaZone perform as far as content creation?

The MediaZone product, in terms of content creation, it will accept any format of whatever you create. You have want to do PowerPoints, great. You have videos, great. You have RSS feeds, that’s fine too—it will accept all of that. The beauty of the MediaZone is it’s easy to use. It lets you to prepare your schedules of what’s going to run when and get it out over your network at times when your network really has the least amount of traffic so you’re not going to slow your network up. A lot of products with digital signage that are sent streaming on an ad hoc basis tend to slow the network down. The beauty of the MediaZone is you basically have an appliance that sits behind a display. You upload the information—the entire presentation with series of presentations, add a schedule of what’s going to play at what time, every day, every week, every month. You can set begin and end dates, which was really even a big problem to them even when they were doing manual signs. The event would pass and the sign would still be there. [Timestamp: 7:02]


Now they can set, you know, we have an event and it’s going to end on November 30; so December 1st at midnight, stop running that ad because it’s no longer valid. [Timestamp: 7:12]

You had to get people up and running with it; so did you provide training for anybody on this?

Well, in the beginning they did a lot of their own self training once the first person got trained. And Keywest was great with this as well: They have people online that will walk you through getting the first few installations going with the end users, but since we’ve deployed as many units, we probably have about 35 units right now deployed at Mt. Sinai, and there are plans to expand in 2012. We actually had a trainer come up from Keywest and spend a couple of hours there training some key people that will be using this down the road. We wanted to make sure they’re going to comfortable. And everybody was very excited about it. [Timestamp: 7:53]

Right, and the usual thing is they become the local gurus on it, and then they train the others.

Exactly, exactly. Once somebody sees that it’s easy to use, more people want to do it. [Timestamp: 8:03]

They see the finished product, and that’s a big selling point right there.

Most of the calls that we get now from other departments now are, “We want to do what obstetrics did or we want to do what orthopedics did or we want to what they did in the lobby of the Annenberg pavilions. From 65-, 70-, 80in. displays now, the sky’s the limit on what they can put out there. As the price of displays come down, doing digital signage becomes much more affordable. [Timestamp: 8:32]

And that always seems to be the case with digital signage projects. You have a little interdepartmental one-ups-manship after one department has seen what the other one is doing, they want to get on the bandwagon.

It’s not only interdepartmental; it’s other hospitals. Many of the doctors and a lot of the technology people travel to the various hospitals, and certainly the New York metropolitan area has many of the finest in the country, and they see what other people are doing and it’s a lot of, “We need to be doing that.” Because of this, we’ve actually gotten calls from other institutions who say, “We want to do what Mt. Sinai’s doing.” [Timestamp: 9:06]

So what are they going to do as far as expanding this? You touched on that before. What are their future plans for the system?

Well we’re getting involved now; they have an entire web development department that’s getting involved in terms of content creation for the digital signage. So what we want to be able to do is work with them—and we are working with them—in terms of roll outs of 8, 9, 10 at a time—10 additional units, and they’ll be rolled out as they determine where they want to put them. We’ll go in and do surveys in terms of the feasibility of where the hardware has to go, and the hospital then just has to provide power and a network connection and we’re ready to put them in. [Timestamp: 9:44]

Well, it sounds like they’re well on their way and you got them there. You talked earlier about how many things RTS has going. Are there any other big projects in the works for them right now?

In terms of our audiovisual business, there’s a lot of interesting things going on, but in terms of digital signage, there are two or three other medical facilities that have seen what Mt. Sinai did that we’re in discussions with now. So we hope to have pilot programs out with them in the next three or four months, and hopefully we can roll those into large projects as we’ve done with Mt. Sinai. [Timestamp: 10:14]

All right, well I thank you for being here. Ben Pfeffer from RTS Unified Communications and the digital signage project at Mt. Sinai Hospital. Thanks for telling us about it.

I appreciate it; thank you very much.

Thanks for joining us for the SVC Podcast with Ben Pfeffer of RTS Unified Communications. Show notes can be found on the website of Sound & Video Contractor Magazine at Be with us again next time for the SVC Podcast.

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