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Custom Signage Markets to Patients in Physicians' Offices

Sep 23, 2008 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt

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Mediplay's digital-signage platform educates and entertains waiting-room patients with content specific to physicians' practice areas.

Mediplay's digital-signage platform educates and entertains waiting-room patients with content specific to physicians' practice areas.

In pursuit of captive audiences beyond traditional retail venues, digital-signage applications are expanding into new market niches. In physicians' offices, for instance, waiting-room televisions are making way for custom digital signage that markets products and services to patients while they wait. After a successful pilot demonstrating increased sales of ancillary products and services in Phoenix's largest otolaryngology practice, Valley Ear, Nose & Throat, just announced plans to install Mediplay's custom digital-signage system in 14 Valley ENT locations in the Phoenix and Tucscon, Ariz., metro areas.

"We became a big believer after installing Mediplay and seeing sales increase," says George Smaistrla, Jr., chief executive officer of Valley ENT. "More than one-third of our hearing aid inquiries were generated directly from the Mediplay system."

By Mediplay's reckoning, there appears to be a large—and largely untapped—opportunity for digital-signage installations in the medical marketplace. According to market research data provided by the company, in the United States, there are currently more than 9,500 pay-for-service practices of dermatology, otolaryngology (ENT), plastic surgery, and cosmetic dentistry—and more than 100,000 primary-care physicians' offices.

Raleigh, N.C.-based Mediplay, launched by a physician in 2004, has deployed more than 100 of its signage networks in physician waiting rooms and offices across the United States. The company offers a pure signage network, mpMotion, as well as the hybrid mpTV signage/TV platform that combines TV programming and custom signage content in zoned areas onscreen. The mpMotion platform provides more focused medical-related content, while the mpTV solution is intended for practices with longer wait times and hence more of a need to entertain as well as educate patients.

Mediplay, whose installations are handled by the company's expanding network of third-party AV integrators, adds a remote media player to the physician practice's existing broadband Internet connection to play content via one or more flatpanel screens. The company's signage platform allows physician users to manage content, providing web-based access to a library of video content as well as providing services for developing or customizing content on the practice's physicians and treatment services.

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