The health sector will become another important niche market for digital signage. Doctors still need to fully understand all the benefits they can achieve.

By Stephanie Gutnik *


It was not easy to find digital signage in 2014 HIMSS conference and exhibition. Although the "digital" was on everyone's lips, the mobile (or mHealth) technology was the protagonist, while the digital signal was ignored, even in presentations on experiences in personalized and participatory health through digital channels.

If they ask about this medium, several technology veterans health information (HIT) argue that it is an excellent solution for guidance systems, satisfied to understand the term and its applications.

This reality may surprise those who move comfortably in the field of digital signage, who take for granted the awareness and appreciation that the general public has on local digital networks at points of care, such as Accent Health and Health Media Network. Competitors in this niche are very aware of the benefits derived from digital signage networks in the health sector doctors, patients and advertisers.

Doctors can transmit personalized messages to patients who are waiting for their appointment. For their part, patients are entertained and informed with informative and attractive content directly related to their visit and / or health. Finally, advertisers reach customers in the trusted confines of their doctors' offices.

That said, it is worth noting that the low awareness of the benefits of digital signaling between the 1.200 37.000 exhibitors and health professionals attending HIMSS is understandable, considering some important changes that are facing their industry. The Omnibus Rule September 2013 updated several laws, including the HITECH Act and HIPAA, introducing more demanding in terms of the notice of violation to privacy regulations, the rights of patients and partners.

The sector is also trying to create interoperability standards for the exchange of information across multiple channels and participants, and is addressing privacy and security through the framework of the PPT, which means people, processes and technology.

Another hot topic has to do with the realization of the significant initiative of the HITECH Act, so that providers of health services take an active and responsible in educating and motivating the public role to become more involved in access and electronic communication.

Upon reflection, if we consider these important factors of change, there is no excuse not to assign greater importance to digital signage, with respect to the HIT infrastructure and digital communication strategies. A presentation on the WEDI report supported this statement by comparing its initial objectives in 1993 with 2013 update.

Having as core ecosystem health to patients, the objectives of the latest report include offering better service and higher quality at lower cost, reducing waste while increasing efficiency and improving safety and active participation of patients.

One of the report's recommendations to meet these goals is to engage the patient in order to convey the right message to the right person in the right place and time. Perhaps they sound familiar to suppliers and operators of digital signage.

Yes, guidance systems are an excellent application of digital signage in hospitals and clinics, as illustrated in this article published in The Wall Street Journal. However, when physicians are faced with the task of converting the activation of patients in a committed participation, digital communication comes to where the patients and can be adapted to their lifestyles.

Patients want to stay connected with their doctors. The convenience and ease of use of mHealth solutions is a step forward but will not be fully effective until it is integrated with local digital networks of medical facilities ... and vice versa.

The health system is patient-centered as the digital signage sector, centered in the viewer, or, to be more precise, they are one and the same thing. Keep the doctor away is no longer the target doctor or patient. Currently an efficient and effective communication is easier than ever and the biggest winner here is your health.

* Stephanie Gutnik specialist content is BroadSign International, LLC

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.

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