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Sony HD monitors help educate, entertain patients, staff

The University of South Florida Diabetes Center, located in Tampa, Fla., has implemented a pioneering communication concept for patients. Sony digital signage throughout the facility serves to educate and entertain patients and inform staff.

Now, time that would otherwise be spent waiting is put to good use by educating patients about preventive medicine and wellness. As a result, the time each patient spends at the Diabetes Center is more productive.

“The basic idea was to make sure that every moment our patients spend here at the center is a productive one, and Sony digital signage now plays an important role in making that happen,” said Dr. Henry Rodriguez, clinical director of USF Diabetes Center. “Lifestyle modification education is a critical component of diabetes management, particularly in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients that make better-informed choices regarding their diet and exercise habits have a far better chance of realizing positive outcomes. Now, we can take every opportunity to communicate the information they need.”

Working Toward a Goal

LMG Inc., a Tampa-based A/V design and integration firm, began the installation in the new facility in June 2011, taking up half a floor in the campus’ Frank and Carol Morsani building. The solution uses an assortment of Sony digital signage HD equipment, including:

  • 19 KDL-40EX400/H 40-inch HD displays
  • 7 KDL-46EX400/H 46-inch displays
  • A KDL-55EX500/H 55-inch display
  • An FWD-S42E1 42-inch display with HD/SDI input card
  • A VPL-FH500L multimedia projector

“The facility had several goals in mind,” said Bob Allen, general manager of LMG. “They wanted digital signage capable of informing the patients and staff of schedules and programs, and other information necessary to the center’s operations.”

The Sony digital signage solution distributes content through a simple user interface that assigns different server-based programs for specific areas. Patients can review materials privately, or groups can watch presentations together with the use of larger displays or the Sony projector.

To Implement or Not to Implement

The decision to implement this concept with Sony professional displays followed a comprehensive review of both professional and consumer HD flat-panel displays.

“The Sony professional displays are an investment that we expect will pay us back year after year,” said Thomas Banea, USF Health’s director of digital media and communications. “We expect the total cost of operation for the Sony displays will be lower than purchasing consumer units that require higher operational costs and or have shorter lifecycles. More importantly, these displays have the advanced I/Os we need to truly achieve the power of digital signage to deliver bidirectional communication. Through the RS-232 ports, we are able to control and manage the units remotely as well as gather individual data and metrics of what is being programmed to the USF patient community.”

A Growing Trend

Banea added that what is now in operation at the USF Diabetes Center is also being evaluated at other venues.

“By using enhanced methods of digital signage, we are able to provide a new model of disseminating information to patients while improving their experience here at the Diabetes Center,” Banea said. “Other departments at USF Health that have seen the center’s capabilities were very impressed and are now looking for similar ways to improve their patient’s experience through digital signage.”


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