Imagine this Scenario in the Not-to-Distant Future
Jan sighs as she relaxes into her new environment at the new hospital near her home. Still feeling regret that her vacation with her husband Robert has been interrupted by her need for urgent medical treatment, she began thinking being admitted wasn’t as terrible as she previously imagined.
Before thinking any more about the uncertainty of her situation, the glow of the room’s footwall draws her attention. She smiles as “Welcome, Jan” scrolls across the top of the wall. The soothing sea crashes against the sand that stretches from one side of the room to the other, as the rhythm of the digital tide reduces her anxiety.
Verging upon a trance, Jan awakes to a window emerging into the foreground. “Nurse Sonia is entering the room.” The nurse’s portrait on the footwall smiles at Jan as the door to the room opens. Nurse Sonia walks in with a familiar smile and a tablet. As Sonia begins examining Jan, the footwall splits into multiple windows to display different sets of information to Jan and Sonia including current vitals, trends since her arrival and her overall Care Plan, highlighting today’s portion.
Sonia discusses each step of today’s portion of Jan’s Care Plan in detail, selecting each step on her tablet, bringing the detail of each step into a larger window on the footwall. As Sonia discusses an MRI scheduled at 1pm, Jan mentions her claustrophobia. Jan watches the footwall update as Sonia adds the note to her tablet. After Sonia has left the room following the exam, Jan notices the footwall has returned to the soothing ocean scene.
Feeling a little anxious, Jan picks up her tablet, causing a small duplicate of her tablet screen to appear on the edge of the footwall. As Jan opens her Streaming App, she selects full screen, growing the small window to the size of a large 90” TV. Around of the edges of the display are a series of windows holding Jan’s Care Plan, the Day’s Schedule, Estimated Time/Date of Discharge, and Jan’s vital information. Jan begins browsing her social media feeds while her show continues to play on the wall. She pushes her Twitter feed to a new footwall window next to her show and switches her tablet over to look at her email.
After Robert said goodbye to his wife for the night, he had gone straight home to some sleep. He’s just getting ready for bed when he gets a text message on his tablet; “Jan is inviting you to a video call. Follow the link to accept”. Roman clicks on the link, and instantly sees Jan’s smiling face as she lays in her hospital bed. “Hey, baby! Do you mind if we just keep this on in case I get lonely?” Typically, it’s Robert who has a hard time sleeping without his wife next to him. He smiles, “If it makes you feel better I’d love to do it”. After a short discussion about where they’ll be getting dinner when she leaves tomorrow, they both fall asleep…virtually next to each other.
This scenario may seem a bit far-fetched, but the technologies are already available to make a comprehensive video footwall a reality in the very near future.
What is a Video Footwall?
A video footwall allows real-time information, entertainment, and other content to be shown at the same time on a large display, video wallpaper or equivalent technology that covers the footwall (and/or potentially other walls) of the patient’s room replacing the traditional television display, white board, clock, and other devices typically found in a patient room.
The content windows displayed on the footwall serve multiple functions, including:
- Strengthen the connection and communication between a patient and their care team
- Reduce the load on the staff of regularly informing the patient and patient family
- Empower the patient and their family to take more control of their environment
The ultimate goal of consolidating this information in one place is to improve patient care while increasing patient satisfaction and medical staff efficiency.
What are Other Use Cases for a Video Footwall?
There are many other video footwall use cases for a next generation hospital, including these common scenarios:
Patient’s Care Plan Schedule which allows the patient to see their upcoming schedule, to schedule visits and calls from family members and friends and provides the patient with an overall sense of control over the care process. Ideally all interactions with the patient would be visible as an appointment on the Patient’s Care Plan Schedule, even events that are not typically scheduled. Examples of these appointments shown on the schedule could include Imaging or Procedural Appointments, Doctor or Clinical Auxiliary Staff Rounding, blood draws or sample collections, and guest or family visits. A real-time location and predictive analytic integration would automatically schedule events, such as Rounding, that are not easily scheduled manually and update the schedule in real-time with any changes or delays to the anticipated flow.
Patient registry/shopping and family member food ordering from the hospital cafeteria which allows patients and family to order from the cafeteria, gift shop and other providers to make their visit more comfortable. Such requests may include requesting special pillows, ordering personal items from the gift shop, or arranging dinner for a family member.
Patient Family Window which allows the patient to open a window on the video footwall that creates a video conference to their family. The patient will have the ability to keep the video conference on as long as they want, creating a virtual window between the patient and their family
Remote Patient Consult for clinical visits and consultations which allows doctors and staff to request an audio or video visit with the patient. The request will show up on the video footwall in a small window, much like a house phone call on a television. The patient will be able to opt-in or opt-out at their own discretion. The use of these virtual visits will allow doctors and auxiliary clinical staff to have interaction with their patients during periods of time when they might not be able to physically be with the patient.
Video Footwall Key Features and Benefits
The ideal video footwall should have the following features:
- Patient Access – Ability for the patient to access their real-time Care Plan schedule, medical information, education, entertainment, and personal device content in one place through one interface
- Doctor Access – Ability for doctors to show electronic medical record information, imaging content, and other clinical system data to the patient and their family
- Visitor Announcement – Annotated and pictured announcement of staff members as they come into the room and their role/reason for coming into the room for the patient and family member’s benefit
- Remote Monitoring – Ability to remotely monitor the patient and use sensor analytics to indicate to the Care Team when the patient might be asleep or be in danger of falling
- Wellness – Ability to show soothing vistas, video loops, photo montages and other content at the patient’s request
- Multi-Language and Speech Recognition Support – Support multiple languages and speech recognition (such as Siri, Alexa or Ask Google) to address the patient population that does not have English as their primary language and those that have difficulty typing on or reading from a smart-phone or tablet
- Privacy – Awareness of who is in the patient room to prevent the patient’s medical information being shared without their consent
What Technologies Are Involved with Implementing the Video Footwall?
All the technology to support a video footwall is available (or coming soon) and would not require many technological leaps.
Specifically, the major technology systems needed to support the video footwall use cases include:
- Digital wallpaper – a very thin, low profile high-definition emissive display that can cover the footwall. An alternative using current technology would be a large flat panel display or multiple displays that can be organized into one panel or segmented into multiple windows
- Information systems integration – to provide the various applications listed in the Use Case with the capability to display information and interact with the patient and their family in multiple languages
- Sensor and camera – to support video conferencing, patient observation, facial (including mood and pain) recognition, and patient status (asleep, moving, getting out of bed, etc.)
- Microphone – to support video conferencing and speech recognition (Alexa, Siri, etc.) capabilities
- Real Time Location System (RTLS) – to determine who is in the room and who is approaching the room
- Wireless network coverage – to facilitate communication between the patient’s or family member’s device and the footwall
- Integration with the Building Automation System and other Building Systems – to facilitate room environmental control, to enable Patient Television for entertainment and education content, to provide electronic medical record information for tracking patient vitals, scheduling and other information
When asked how video footwalls will impact patient care, Associate Alexis Diamond explained:
“Engaging the patient and their family in all aspects of their care is an important component in improving outcomes and enhancing the healing environment. Here at Vantage we’re excited about the Patient Footwall’s ability to provide a patient and their family with easy access to information, control over their environment, and a clear understanding of the process they are participating in. It should be a significant contributor to improving the level of care at our next-generation hospitals and medical centers.”