10. 09. 2006
Ambient Experience Suite from Philips
I am a reasonably brave person, but a visit to the hospital, especially if it involves some kind of a scanning procedure, does intimidate me quite a bit. The entire experience of being in an icy cold clinical room all alone, with the machine whirring around me is quite far from being an enjoyable experience. As if this were not enough, I also have to deal with the fear of something unexpected popping up in the scan.
When I read about the Philips Ambient Experience suite, I was glad that at least someone recognizes my fear and has actually done something about it. According to Philips, the Ambient Experience suite at Laughlin Memorial Centre allows patients to personalize the lighting, projected images and other elements of the exam room, so as to enable them to have a greater sense of comfort and control over their experience. By swiping a credit-card sized “theme card” before entering the room, patients can select soothing images to be projected on the walls and ceiling, accompanied by corresponding sounds, such as an underwater seascape or mountain scene complete with migrating geese.
In keeping with the special needs of children, Philips has also installed customized suites in children's hospitals. These feature animated scenes of ‘virtual’ daisies, cartoon space ships and geometric patterns that are continuously projected on both sides of a wall in the waiting room. A nice personal touch is the Philips Kitten Scan, allowing the young patient to ‘scan’ a toy and see the results on a screen.
While I am sure that these installations are quite expensive and only a select few hospitals in the world can afford these as of now, once a critical mass is established, I would expect these to be available at more locations. As for me, if I can have the next scan done with Beethoven playing in the background and images of the Alps projected onto the walls, the hospital would be nothing short of a second home for me.