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Planar Interactive Video Walls Play Integral Role in Health Engagement at New Wellness Center

Thibodaux Regional Medical Center, a nationally-recognized, award-winning medical center in Thibodaux, Louisiana, recently dedicated a visionary new state-of-the-art Wellness Center to further its commitment to high quality, cost-effective healthcare. The idea of the Wellness Center of Thibodaux Regional is to take a more upstream approach to healthcare and offer prevention alongside treatment. With options like fitness, education, rehabilitation, and focused sports and wellness services, the Wellness Center encourages the community to participate in physical activity and health management. These aspects are featured together with a clinical integration that includes advanced diagnostic tools, health and wellness doctors, neurosurgeons, neurologists, pain doctors, endocrinologists and more.
"The primary vision of the new facility—which sounds simple but is quite challenging—is to improve the overall health of the population in our area of Louisiana," says Greg Stock, CEO of Thibodaux Regional Medical Center. "Our region struggles with health issues related to heart disease, diabetes and high incidents of childhood obesity. The Wellness Center is based on a vision of a healthier community."

After years of design and planning, the facility is now complete. During the design phase, Stock recognized that education and the ability to inspire behavior change were critical drivers for motivating people to improve their health and wellness. Acting upon this, he began exploring ways to better feature the facility's 9,000-square-foot education center. But more than that, Stock wanted an interactive solution to engage people.

"I estimated there would be 120,000 people coming through the doors every year, but how do you engage visitors in a conversation about wellness? That made me think about personal stories of people who improved their health and wellness, rather than a regurgitation of statistics," Stock said.

To help realize this vision, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center retained turn-key solution provider VisionQuest as a consultant, content producer, programmer, and integrator. As goals were established, VisionQuest decided that video walls from Planar would be the best fit for the project. The Wellness Education Center now features three (3x3) interactive Clarity® Matrix® MultiTouch LCD Video Walls, each 12-feet-long by 7.5-feet-high.

Interactive displays promote wellness through engagement

With the Planar displays, the Wellness Education Center employs a storytelling format to connect with people and inspire them as soon as they walk through the door. This includes personal narratives of real life stories.

"You can see how people have overcome obstacles," Stock said. "Human stories are a great way to motivate people, especially when it comes to health, so it's a really great use of the displays. They have that interactive quality, so it's not just a screen playing a video, but a way for people to drive the content themselves by touching and interacting with the video walls." The Clarity Matrix LCD MultiTouch Video Walls utilize 6 touch points, which allows multiple users to interact with the video walls independently without unwanted sound clutter at each interactive station. The pinpoint accuracy of IR touch sensors also prevents any false touch points.

Additionally, the Clarity Matrix MultiTouch video walls are protected against damage by a bonded glass surface called Planar® ERO™ (Extended Ruggedness and Optics™) technology. Planar ERO adds durability to the video walls and minimizes the effects of glare thereby enhancing clarity and ease of viewing.

There are many groups that tour the Wellness Center and the video walls are an effective way to communicate in a short amount of time. "It has to be very impactful," Stock said. "It has to really engage people's interest quickly. We see people stand in front of those displays and quickly become encouraged and engaged."

Flexible technology enables for multiple uses

In addition to engaging visitors through storytelling, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center also uses the video walls for more purposes. "The flexibility of the displays offers many options," said Thibodaux Regional Medical Center Network Operations Manager Bryan Samaha. "We show content about the Wellness Center and provide information about our physicians."

The video walls are also employed for wayfinding and to help fulfill the education center's mission to educate the public. "We've done PowerPoint presentations and educational videos," Samaha said. "It's not just boxed into certain applications—we can really manipulate it and use it the way we need to."

A further use includes displaying 12K footage of the surrounding Southern Louisiana region. "Our area has a really unique culture and a landscape that includes swamps, bayous and old plantation homes. We spent a significant amount of time gathering imagery, videos and drone footage that we now display as a background layer on the video walls," Samaha said. "Since the interactive layer is translucent, people can still interact with the video wall and not interrupt the beautiful imagery."

On the back end, the system runs off three computers with software syncing the three video walls together, allowing more creative options. "For example, when we were making our custom videos for the background layer, we filmed someone running. When we display that 12K content, we can show the runner moving in one continuous motion across all three displays," Samaha said.

Easy serviceability with centralized processing components

Planar video walls were chosen not solely because it is state-of-the-art technology, but also for the advantage of being able to rack power and processing components in a technology closet, rather than on the wall behind the video wall, making it much easier to service.

"All you're hanging on the wall is the display itself for the most part," says Tony Shannon, president of VisionQuest, which provided all elements of the project scope including the creative planning. "We were able to place the electronics and the power supplies—which generates most of the heat—in a room 125 feet away. This provides the advantage of not having to add ventilation to keep the temperature stable and prevents the display panels from overheating. In the past, we had to ventilate the displays by tapping into the existing AC system, which is a big cost to a client." Shannon also notes that when parts need to be replaced they don't need to deconstruct the video wall itself. "For instance, if a power supply goes out, we can just pull that power supply and replace it, rather than having to take the video wall apart."

Another major factor is the brightness of the displays. "There's a lot of light in that space," Shannon says. "So, we needed something that would shine through, particularly when the bright sun was coming into the room. We needed something that would offer more than your standard brightness on the video wall."

The Wellness Center is already showing great success with the help of the Clarity Matrix MultiTouch video walls. Upon opening in early November 2016 the Fitness Center within the Wellness Center had close to 3,500 members, exceeding the original projections of 1,400 members.