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Interactive Technology Soothes Kids in Emergency Rooms
CNBC.com | March 13, 2012 | 10:51 AM EDT

Winding up in an emergency room is hardly the happiest place on earth for a kid, but at Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando, it’s not unheard of to find a patient who doesn’t want to go home.

“What we really wanted to create is the wow that we think parents and patients deserve when they come to an emergency room," says Marla Silliman, the administrator of the children’s hospital.

The hospital’s pediatric emergency unit was the first in the U.S. to feature private rooms equipped with interactive, customizable ambient lighting design by KoninklijkePhilips Electronics NV .

Using a touch screen controller, a kid or a parent can change the color of the lighting in the room and choose a cartoon or nature scene to project on the wall.

Early on, head pediatric nurse Martin Thompson discovered the environment not only distracted kids, but made it easier to treat them when one of their first patients barely squirmed and didn’t require much pain medication while getting stitches.

“Other than just the topical ointment that we put on, we were able to suture the child up,” he explains. “So, we cut down on the need for analgesics.”

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