Shin­ing a Softer Light on Re­cov­ery

Tun­able hos­pi­tal light­ing Philips Light­ing

Fast Company - - World-Changing Ideas - —EA

Harsh hos­pi­tal light­ing serves a pur­pose: To work ef­fec­tively, health­care pro­fes­sion­als need around 1,000 watts. But such re­lent­less bright­ness can have dele­te­ri­ous ef­fects on pa­tients. A 2015 study from the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health cited over­ex­po­sure to light as a key fac­tor in sleep de­pri­va­tion, which in­hibits the heal­ing process.

“Typ­i­cally, you see these ster­ile, two-by-four flu­o­res­cents that are just un­com­fort­able to look up at,” says Pa­tri­cia Rizzo, se­nior light­ing ap­pli­ca­tions de­signer for Philips Light­ing. Hav­ing pi­o­neered cus­tom­iz­a­ble light­ing sys­tems for homes, Philips re­al­ized its tech­nol­ogy could im­prove the pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence in hos­pi­tals.

Over the past year and a half, the com­pany has rolled out a pi­lot project with the Univer­sity of Min­nesota Ma­sonic Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal, in­stalling tun­able light­ing sys­tems in four pa­tient rooms. The lights brighten and dim along with the nat­u­ral light cy­cle out­side, and both hos­pi­tal staff and the pa­tients them­selves can ad­just the lights by re­mote to what­ever set­ting they’d like. (Young pa­tients of­ten choose to make col­ors dance on the white walls.) Pa­tients have re­ported lower lev­els of stress and longer stretches of con­sec­u­tive sleep, and Rizzo says Philips plans to ex­pand the pi­lot through more of the Univer­sity of Min­nesota health sys­tem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.