Digital signage represents considerable value for the healthcare market. Consider the fact that 75 percent of patients and hospital staff said digital signage content enhances the hospital environment and provides useful information, according to a study by research firm Arbitron Inc., and it's clear that hospital digital signage has enormous potential.
A Growing Presence
In hospital waiting areas, patient rooms and hallways, digital signage can be used to provide important educational announcements, informative programming and advertisements. For hospital patients and visitors, this new breed of media is not only informative and educational; it also can help decrease their perceived wait time.
A growing number of healthcare facilities around the country are taking advantage of digital signage capabilities to better connect with patients and visitors, help them feel more at ease and market goods and services to them. However, not every digital signage system is created equal. Each healthcare location has its own set of unique challenges and needs, so it requires its own unique and customized system of hardware, software and content.
Software is like the "brains" of a digital signage network; without it, the system can't survive. That's why it's important to choose the right technology for your customer. When recommending digital signage software for a hospital, keep these top five considerations in mind:
Location and size of the signage network. Will the digital signage network occupy a large hospital with multiple facilities? Or will it be contained to a smaller healthcare location with a single waiting area? The size and scope of the network will help you determine what type of software will best suit your customer's needs.
Purpose of the signage. Think about how the signage will be used -- for example, for wayfinding, lobby infotainment, visitor information or advertising. The purpose of the signage will drive its content, which will have a big impact on the type of software needed.
Content. Simpler content may only require very basic, template-based software, while more complicated content -- with moving images and sound -- will necessitate more sophisticated capabilities. Similarly, you'll need much different software if your content requires a simple PowerPoint-style slideshow than if you need scheduled advertising that changes according to the day or time.
Number of channels. Will the content be repeated on every digital sign in the network? Or will each sign broadcast its own unique content? The number of channels your customer will use might dictate the software for their system.
Licensed or SaaS software. Depending on the size of your customer and their goals for their digital signage network, you'll want to decide between using enterprise software or Software as a Service (Saas). Enterprise, or licensed, software is usually the better bet for larger organizations. Since bigger companies often have the support of internal IT experts, they can more easily integrate enterprise software across their entire business. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are more likely to benefit from the lower price point and remote management capabilities of SaaS software.
An Ideal Fit
There's a reason hospital digital signage is growing so quickly: It benefits both the hospital and its patients and visitors. As an integrator, you're in a unique position to help ensure your customer experiences a smooth digital signage installation and that the technology used meets their needs. In healthcare especially, it's important to keep each customer's unique goals and challenges in mind when recommending software, as well as hardware.
You Tell Us
What challenges or opportunities have you experienced that are unique to the hospital vertical? How did your technology recommendations help tackle those challenges for your customer?