Royal Philips Electronics has announced that it is stepping up its healthcare re- search into healing environments by opening a dedicated research facility at its Eind- hoven-based Research Laboratories. Based on Philips’ understanding of the hospital patient experience and implemented through the intelligent use of technology, the heal- ing environments concepts aim to accelerate and improve treatment outcomes, while simultaneously reducing the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalization and hospital-based treatment.

One of the concepts that is being studied uses soothing lighting and calming video images and sounds, and is aimed at reducing the stress levels of patients who are in the preparation room awaiting a PET-CT scan, an imaging technology that is predomi- nantly used to facilitate the diagnosis and staging of cancer. The PET-CT preparation room has been identified as one of the most stressful environments for cancer patients.

“There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that patient-friendly comfort- ing environments not only reduce anxiety levels but also promote the healing process itself,” said Henk van Houten, general manager Philips Research. “The opening of the Hospital Area is a clear expression of our commitment to this important new area of healthcare research, which leverages Philips’ unique expertise in healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle. It is further evidence of Philips’ aim to deliver meaningful in- novations that improve people’s lives.”

As people’s access to information continues to increase, a new generation of pa- tients is emerging who are knowledgeable about their medical conditions and therapy options, and therefore demand greater choice in where and how they are treated. As a result, hospitals are becoming increasingly people-focused to satisfy those demands. Of- fering an environment and an experience that helps patients cope with a difficult period in their lives is one way in which hospitals can achieve that objective.