Building trust with patients is imperative to the medical profession, and this extends to all aspects of the interaction, so quality and reliability are vital in all areas of the operation. LifeHub is one of the premier healthcare providers in Hong Kong and, when they wanted to implement a new automated system to interact with patients at their clinic, they knew they had to get it right, without compromise.
“LifeHub is changing the way we experience health and wellness,” said Candice Chan, executive director of LifeHub. “We feel that the modern healthcare system is broken as it only treats you when you are sick. We don’t like that, and we want to be drivers of change. Healthcare should be about getting and keeping you at your optimum health – better sleep, sharper focus, increased energy, fewer toxins, managing stress – at LifeHub, that’s our goal.”
As part of allowing patients to take a significant role in their own wellbeing, LifeHub envisaged a large interactive screen in their medical practice, allowing patients to make menu-driven selections to address their individual healthcare needs. In their vision, a large screen would allow patients to make selections by simply touching the screen. When not in use, the screen would act as a large impressive mirror – rather than ‘just’ a blank screen.
However, turning their vision into reality would require some advanced technology. The design needed to include a mirrored surface that could be fully interactive from edge to edge, while allowing a rear-mounted screen with graphical and text content to be fully visible. As the solution would be used by members of the public, it had to be highly intuitive as well as being robust and reliable – including the ability to be used by people wearing gloves. While this is fairly easy with a small screen, at the 55in (140cm) size that LifeHub envisaged, there would clearly be challenges.
LifeHub turned to DHS Engineering, a Hong Kong based green engineering consultancy company that prides itself on providing the highest standards of quality, engineering services and solutions for its clients. To deliver the project, DHS partnered with ASPIS Innovation Solutions, a business with many years’ experience of developing a variety of solutions, most recently based around internet applications and specifically connected solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). ASPIS has also been the Hong Kong distributor for UK-based Zytronic for over two years.
With its experience, technology and flexibility regarding low-volume custom solutions, Zytronic was the choice to provide the large interactive mirrored glass surface that the project required.
The solution was defined as a 55in multi-touch screen that mounts on the wall in LifeHub’s reception area, with a second unit elsewhere in the practice. A 700cd/sqm high brightness LCD display panel would be mounted behind the mirrored surface, the specially mirrored glass becomes reflective when the display is unpowered or showing a dark screen, but still allows enough light to transmit through when content is displayed. At ASPIS’ suggestion, a gasket would be added between the screen and mirror to minimise the risk for electromagnetic interference (EMI). The touch panel components selected was a 55in mirrored glass and ZyBrid sensor combined with a Zytronic ZXY500 multi-touch controller with the 256 inputs necessary for such a large display. As the screens were located in public areas, where there is a risk for vandalism, a 6mm glass was selected.
While the 55in screen seems large, Zytronic’s capability extends as far as 85in across their product range. The ZyBrid solution is the most adaptable, offering almost limitless customisation options to suit any requirement. For rugged, vandal-resistant applications the ZyBrid technology can be used with toughened glass, making it ideal for indoor and outdoor applications where durability is essential.
The ZXY500 controller used for the project is based around a proprietary Zytronic ASIC that features multi-touch functionality with palm rejection, higher noise immunity and high-speed operation for reduced latency – thereby delivering a better user experience. The reduced size controller can be powered by a single USB connection and is fully Windows, Linux and Android compatible with the ability to communicate with the host system via a variety of interfaces.
The two touch panels are now installed in LifeHub’s Hong Kong premises and proving to be popular with patients, who feel that they are active participants in their own wellbeing. The smart, sleek design suits the facility and the image the clinic is projecting, while the ease of use, ruggedness and reliability give patients confidence in the system and, therefore, LifeHub.
After the installation was complete, Candice Chan commented: “By combining the latest advancements in prevention, wellness, fitness and nutrition with individualised coaching and advanced technology, we are creating a new personalised consumer health experience. Through the interactive touch-operated mirrored panel, patients can identify their health needs, in a way they can understand and afford. Our team of doctors, practitioners and coaches design services, products and programmes to help them feel better now and achieve their optimal health. This new system will significantly assist us with that.”