2012 Best Healthcare Deployment: Digital Signage 


Project: Saint Luke's Hospital History and Donor Walls
Client: Saint Luke's Health System
Submitted by: Sensory Interactive
Also contributing: R2W Inc, Forcade Associates


Sensory Interactive, in collaboration with Forcade Associates, conceptualized and developed a diverse family of integrated digital tools to assist and engage patients, visitors, and staff at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. The installation delivers engaging and compelling information about the history and work of the hospital, the nursing school, and the Saint Luke’s Foundation. Using a combination of Christie MicroTiles, Float 4’s Real Motion Server, and custom application development and content management software by Upshaw Interactive, Sensory Interactive created two technologically unique pieces for St. Luke’s Hospital – the 4-foot-high by 16-foot-long History Wall, and the 5-foot square Donor Wall.

The History Wall invites passersby to interact by grabbing their attention with a digital shadow of those who approach. An array of lasers and infrared cameras create gesture-based interactivity that engages users before they touch the wall. Once they realize the display they are walking by is more than just a seamless wall of video, laser-facilitated touch-sensitivity allows them to scroll through an interactive timeline of the hospital’s history. The display’s large size and high resolution makes for an extremely immersive experience, which is accentuated by the three-dimensional movement of the scrolling timeline. The size of the installation also allows up to three users, or groups of users, to engage with it simultaneously, increasing the number of people it can reach, and adding to the energy and sense of fun surrounding the installation.    

The Donor Wall uses similar technology in its display of prominent donor and patient stories. It creates a large visual impact by incorporating adjacent light boxes, which are lit with color changing LEDs whose color is dynamically based on the content displayed on the wall. The result is a highly engaging visual element that has quickly become a prominent fund raising tool for the hospital.

Objectives of the deployment or the technology:

As part of a broad initiative to enhance the way it communicates with patients and visitors in the built environment, Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City wanted to create an engaging and entertaining tool for sharing information about the institution’s history, accomplishments, philosophy, and commitment to the community. The installation would need to appeal to a broad range of ages and interests, and have the ability to ability to accommodate new content as it becomes available. The high-traffic location provided the opportunity to draw users in and encourage them to explore the installation’s content, but also necessitated a high level of durability and serviceability. Additionally, Saint Luke’s Hospital wanted to create a dynamic donor wall, recognizing contributors to its Saint Luke’s Foundation. Specific goals included explaining the important work made possible by donations, and delivering engaging and compelling information about giving opportunities and key donors.    

In order to address all of the concerns put forth by the hospital and the foundation, Sensory Interactive led workshop sessions to determine the best overall direction for the project and came to the conclusion that the most innovative way to approach the project would be to let the users discover the information on their own through the exploration of History Wall. In the case of the Donor Wall, the attention-grabbing dynamic lighting and content would bring a much-needed boost to the stories of prominent donors and patients. Leading with the idea that the standard engraved plaque or dated photo did not give these notable people the consideration they deserved, St. Luke’s Hospital and Sensory Interactive decided the best way to recognize these people in a new and unique was not only to tell their stories, but also to encourage others to follow in their footsteps.

Results achieved relative to the objectives:

The response to the History Wall has been extremely enthusiastic, with large groups of visitors regularly gathered around it to explore its content and enjoy its interactive functionality. Saint Luke’s Hospital staff has expressed appreciation for the content management system’s ease-of use, which enabled them to populate the installation with content as the material was finalized and vetted by the appropriate departments within the organization. As with any interactive or digital installation of this nature, it is of utmost importance to ensure that creating and adding new content is not only possible, but easily accomplished by the regular staff of the hospital. Installations such as this can easily get stale if they’re ignored or not monitored on a regular basis. The content management system designed by Upshaw Interactive allows for that baseline level of use and management allowing the wall and it’s content to stay new and fresh on a regular basis.    

The compelling nature of the Donor Wall’s content, and its ability to capture the attention of hospital visitors, are making it a valuable fundraising tool. In addition to encouraging the support of major donors by providing a more dramatic way to recognize their contributions, it is also generating spontaneous donations from individuals who are inspired to give by its stories of hospital outreach and successful patient outcomes. Much of what was installed could have been accomplished with a simple LCD screen on the wall, but the meticulous attention to detail and the dedication to integrating it into the space make this 5-foot square wall so much more. It’s not an afterthought slapped on the wall; it’s a well thought out thank you from Saint Luke’s Hospital to those who have contributed to its successes.
Size and geographic location(s) of the deployment: 

The installation at St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Missouri consists of two displays: the 14-foot-long by 4-foot-tall History Wall and the 5-foot by 5-foot Donor Wall. Both displays are in constant view by patients, staff, and donors alike. They were installed over the course of a major expansion of the hospital and have helped bring a renewed sense of pride to a hospital that already has an outstanding reputation, regularly winning recognition in the medical and patient communities for its outstanding service. The two new displays have helped to put this hospital in a class reserved for only the best, most forward-thinking institutions, by incorporating some of the most advanced interactive display solutions on the market today and communicating that patient treatment means more than just tending to medical care.

Larry Zoll (center) and Randy Byrd (right), accept the award on behalf of Sensory Interactive from Jennifer Nye, DSA EVP - Digital Signage.
Selected judges’ comments: 
  • Commendable way of showing compassion for patients and also promote the abilities of Saint Luke. Allows for engagement and interaction for what is important specific to the person.
  • The ability for multiple users to user the video wall is something that often times goes overlooked.
  • Functional and well designed to fit into the décor.
  • Really impressive. The touch screen really appeared to offer an enhanced information-providing and engagement experience, while acknowledging what appeared to be a long list of donors. 
  • The History Wall is an interesting way to deliver information content in a medical environment. Its location supports the interactive features of the installation and makes it inviting for the public to get closer and interact with it. The visually appealing Donor Directory could also benefit the History Wall interactivity to deliver the donor list.
  • Very professional. Nice execution.
  • Very nice installation.
  • Great example of innovative technology utilized to create a unique experience.
  • Well planned and implemented interactive installation.
  • As a former board president of a non-profit, I appreciate the idea of flattering donors with more extensive histories than are possible with conventional signage, and drawing in more donations as a result.  Physically, this is a relatively modest deployment, but the content has depth, and the deployment apparently fullfills the well-targeted goals Saint Luke's set out for it.

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