Display specialists are finding a niche in healthcare, as resellers of all kinds rush to find sectors that are less affected by the recession.
Richard Wilks, specialist displays manager at NEC Display Solutions, said the vendor is experiencing strong growth in sales of its large-format displays to the public and private medical and healthcare sector.
“The first area of deployment is digital signage in hospitals,” he said. “When a patient is referred from a GP, they have a choice of where to send them. So hospitals are working to improve the customer experience.”
Digital signage use in hospitals is growing rapidly. Networked screens are being used to show maps and guides to the hospital, display information for patients queuing to see a clinician and broadcast entertainment, for instance.
“They see digital signage as a fantastic way of linking both staff and patient information around the hospital,” said Wilks.
Displays are also being installed as part of bed and patient management systems.
An ongoing issue at hospitals is having enough beds available at the right time. Screens on wards, in theatres and in administrative areas can have information on patient location updated in real time.
Screens are also used in hospital meeting rooms and videoconferencing among consultants both within the hospital and abroad.
Wilks said NEC screens incorporate the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard, meaning they can be networked to other healthcare solutions.
Bill Barrigan, sales and marketing director at specialist reseller Parity Medical, said growth in the sector will continue.
“It is affected by the downturn, but not to the same degree,” he said. “Also, more hospitals have become Foundation Trusts, which means they can act as a normal business and carry over investment from one year to the next.”
Barrigan said Parity also works with vendors such as Philips and integrates in its own offerings such as hoods, mountings and cases to protect technology from biohazards.
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