Visionary Solutions and Optimal Solutions Provide Interactive Television Experience for Major Health-Care Provider

In the health-care industry, patient contentment is the most important goal, and recently a major health-care provider recognized a need to provide a high-quality television viewing experience for every patient as well as for ancillary locations such as waiting rooms, family rooms, staff rooms, infusion bays, and hospitality guest suites. For the provider, which serves nine hospitals, 180 service sites, and more than 600 physician groups serving over 625,000 patients, an additional requirement was the capability to control the system broadly, as well as narrowly enough, to meet the needs of a specific facility with minimal staff management.

The solution ultimately involved replacing old RF cable television plants with an on-demand IP video delivery platform based on Visionary Solutions’ IPTV encoders and Optimal Solutions’ eVideon™ Healthcare, an IPTV software application that provides interactive educational content, entertainment and customized hospital information on-demand to patients and health-care professionals.

“Patient contentment is crucial to a health-care provider’s success. The new IPTV system offers patients a high-quality, personalized television experience from the comfort of their beds, giving the health-care provider a major competitive edge,” said Scott King, director of converged technology, Optimal Solutions. “The IPTV deployment provides patients with a satisfying interactive television viewing experience by bringing together best-of-breed components from encoders to STBs and driving their use through the eVideon solution.”

The Technology Behind the Powerful IPTV Headend

The health-care provider’s new IPTV streaming headend provides HD and SD video streams to the entire organization, comprised of multiple hospitals as well as numerous clinical facilities. At the centralized headend, the eVideon application server hosts the application stack for every hospital and clinical facility; the HL7 engine, which interfaces with the health information system to provide a personalized experience for each patient; and the database that runs the system.

Visionary Solutions’ AVN441 systems encode standard-definition and high-definition video in a highly efficient H.264 compression standard to provide a full frame rate, IP video stream for television viewing to an unlimited number of viewers, serving patient rooms as well as other ancillary locations. The AVN441 encoders are housed within a Visionary Solutions’ Media Processing Platform (MPP1700), a high-density IPTV processing system that holds up to 17 encoder blades and three slots of redundant power in 3RU, offering the health-care provider a space-efficient encoding system.

Patients and health-care professionals can access the video content through approximately 1000 Amino 130H set-top boxes (STB) currently being utilized by the health-care provider. In addition to providing the patient experience on a television display, the STBs also act as the client to the eVideon application server. Every patient room also includes an eVideon Interface Box 2 (IB2), which allows a patient to control the eVideon interface from multiple pillow speaker sets that are tied into different nurse call systems.

All of the new equipment making up the IPTV video delivery system is interoperable with new and existing television sets, existing pillow speakers with multiple nurse call systems, and the health-care providers’ existing data network, making it a cost-effective, future-proof system.

The Benefits: Flexibility, Efficiency, and Patient Satisfaction

The new IPTV system provides customizable video on demand and virtual TV channel streams along with interactive menus. Each hospital’s on-demand content can easily be branded with a unique look and feel, without requiring management from additional staff. Additionally, TV channels, on-demand video content, interactive menu options, and tailored information can be controlled as broadly as for the whole system, and as narrowly as to meet the needs of a single TV location, providing with the perfect level of control needed to manage multiple hospitals as well as each specific patient’s needs.

“While patient satisfaction was the primary purpose of this installation, the solution also increases efficiencies by providing a robust and open workflow engine on the backend so that hospitals can streamline patient education and communication practices while fully tracking patient needs and actions through the system,” said Mike Piper, vice president of sales and marketing, Visionary Solutions. “These workflows create efficiencies that cut down on staff workloads, thereby providing a direct ROI in labor.”

The IPTV system has the flexibility to be launched to an entire patient facility or just a single patient room, providing a level of scalability that reduces difficulties associated with a mass deployment as well as indirect costs such as training and support. The technology has already been deployed at one hospital, along with six additional facilities, and the health-care provider plans to expand the IPTV technology to other sites in the near future.

The new IPTV system not only increases patient satisfaction by providing a high-quality, interactive television viewing experience, but also cuts operating expenses by offering a streamlined communication portal for health-care professionals, allowing a major health-care provider to be an innovator in a competitive industry.