US hospital uses hologram tech to connect doctors with patients

Friday, 31 May, 2024

US hospital uses hologram tech to connect doctors with patients

Crescent Regional Hospital, an acute care hospital in the US, has partnered with Holoconnects to use technology that enables doctors to teleport as a life-size 3D hologram and connect with patients in real time.

The partnership will see the hospital, about a half hour south of Dallas, use holographic technology to broaden patient access to care and medical expertise.

Crescent Regional Hospital has already installed its first full-size 86″ Holoconnects Holobox hologram display and video studio. The hospital plans to install 24″ Holobox Mini displays at several locations throughout the hospital and associated clinics.

The hospital is on a mission to become the ‘hospital of the future’ — a facility where technology and human ingenuity combine to break down historical barriers to superior healthcare access, including underserved communities. Patients at the Crescent Regional Hospital can now schedule a non-touch visit with their doctor or any range of medical specialists from the Dallas area or anywhere in the world.

“Teleporting our doctors in real time to connect and speak with our patients from any location as a life-size hologram gives our patients access to the health care they deserve. It also saves our doctors one of their most precious resources — time — enabling them to see as many patients as possible,” said Raji Kumar, CEO and Managing Partner of Crescent Regional Hospital.

“Integrating Holoconnects’ Holoboxes within our hospitals will shorten patient wait times, increase access to specialist care and improve patient care across multiple disciplines.”

Crescent Medical Center Lancaster (now known as Crescent Regional Hospital) was in danger of permanent closure just six years ago. The Lancaster, DeSoto, South Dallas and surrounding Texas communities served by Crescent Medical Center Lancaster languished in a healthcare void, with a community of predominantly African American and Latino residents accustomed to receiving second- or third-tier health care.

Purchased in 2018 by Kumar and rebranded as Crescent Regional Hospital, Kumar has prioritised community-centric hiring practices, strategic talent acquisition initiatives and emerging technology adoption. Crescent Regional Hospital has since set a new standard in cardiovascular healthcare in the region. It now performs 300 orthopaedic and spine surgeries and nearly 1700 other surgeries annually and opened a cardiac catheterisation lab in 2023.

Immediate use cases of the new technology at the hospital include:

  • Virtual consultations pre- and post-surgery: Patients can have personal interactions and consultations with Crescent’s healthcare providers via teleportation to a remote location for any of Crescent’s specialties, including cardiology, emergency care, gastroenterology, neurology, orthopaedic care, pulmonology, general surgery, spine health, wound care and more.
  • Telemedicine rounds: Doctors can conduct ‘virtual’ rounds with patients and hospitals to discuss treatment plans and progress and economise on the time it takes to travel by car to patient locations.
  • Physician/specialist consultations pre- and post-surgery: Patients can access Crescent Regional Hospital specialists and their expertise remotely, opening up more availability for the physician and eliminating possible weeks or months of wait time for the patient to see them. Due to added schedule flexibility, doctors save up to 20 hours a week, which allows them to see more patients and address urgent cases.
  • Collaborative care planning: Multidisciplinary teams can collaborate on patient care plans and treatment strategies, promoting seamless communication and coordination.
  • Patient education: Holograms can help educate patients about their medical conditions, treatment options, pre-surgery instruction and post-discharge care instruction. Patients are comfortable interacting with holograms as it feels like seeing a doctor in person.

Holoconnects trained Crescent Regional Hospital clinicians, staff and the hospital’s technical operations team on the technology. Crescent Regional Hospital plans to expand its use of real-time hologram technology to assist with other hospital needs, such as remote diagnostics, remote surgery assistance, language interpretation, medical training and education, and medical device demonstrations.

“Holograms have the potential to improve every facet of health care, from streamlining scheduling to expanding access to clinical expertise to helping physicians save time,” said Holoconnects’ North America Managing Director Steve Sterling.

Image: Supplied.

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