What's the plan for WiFi SPARK over the next three years? While we continue to provide and monitor WiFi and Analytics for retail, transport and private sectors, our focus has moved more towards healthcare and the beneficial services we can provide to patients and hospital staff.
Currently, we have SPARK® Media and our 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) solution for patients in hospital. Furthermore, in our recent acquisition of Hospedia, we now have hospital Bedside Units of various technology.
As the Bedside Unit solution is our most recent venture, we aspire to improve it. This includes making patient entertainment free and upgrading the existing units for an overall better experience. Read about the latest improvements we're working on below.
Phase 1: Horizon Design
The current Hospedia Bedside Units are a great entertainment source and provide useful services. However, they are a bit dated and are limited in what they can do. That's why WiFi SPARK set out to design a new Bedside Unit which we now call SPARK® Horizon. This new product runs under our new branding, SPARK® TSL.
Before this product could come to fruition, our products team was hard at work designing the new Horizon Unit.
Part of this development included recognising the need for a variety of sizes. The current Bedside Units are restricted to their mounts, and there are no other options available. Horizon is not going to be like that. Some of them can be hand-held, while others are set up on bedside cradles, trolleys, and walls depending on their size and the patient’s requirement.
This initial design included the provision of useful ports such as two USB and headphone ports. The manoeuvrable Horizon units on trolleys have rechargeable batteries so ward staff don’t have to worry about trailing wires that could be a trip hazard. Another consideration was how to install them with the least disruption. That’s why they have been designed to utilise the existing infrastructure of the old Bedside Units, so it’s a simple swap and change. By using this infrastructure, the NHS saves millions by replacing it.
In line with the physicality of the design comes the software that runs on the device. It’s powered by Android software and uses our SPARK® software to access our four engagement pages containing various apps.
These pages cover Trust services, patient care, charities, and our vast entertainment selection. Each engagement page has a selection of web apps relevant to its page type. The only page slightly different is the entertainment page, which has apps and a range of Freeview TV and Radio entertainment channels.
Phase 2: Horizon Units demo and Apps Catalogue
We had our first official demonstration of SPARK® Horizon at the HETT show in London in September 2022. The vision of this design came to life while showcasing our extensive apps catalogue ,which is constantly growing.
The apps catalogue is an online catalogue accessed through the SPARK® website, providing the Trust with all the web and Android native apps available on the platform. Horizon Units offer a range of apps that the Trust can select to meet specific requirements. These apps are either entertainment or healthcare-related. Examples of apps include:
- Hospital services
- Meal ordering
- Video call
Find out more about our Apps Catalogue.
With the units all ready to go and our apps catalogue constantly expanding, Horizon is ready to be rolled out to Hospitals.
Phase 3: Own devices and managed devices.
Before WiFi SPARK acquired Hospedia, the focus was on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and an all-in-one system to access your favourite entertainment apps, games, magazines, as well as Trust information and resources. This is SPARK® Media. We want to take this a step further with staff being able to access clinical systems on Trust secure managed mobile devices and Bedside Units. A service we can now offer.
- Bed management
Digitalising bedside communications is a massive time saver for NHS staff. Removing admin requirements in the referral process saves 383 hours per month (based on 4,605 referrals per month, per acute Trust that take 5 minutes). These resources create the right environment for more efficient staff and therefore save the Trust money.
Phase 4: Horizon Installation and Free Entertainment
By the end of our final phase, Horizon will replace the legacy Bedside Units, and scrap the ‘patient pays’ system. This means there will be free entertainment and engagement at end-use. We're talking:
- Free Applications
- Free Internet
- Free Telephony.
There will also be funding streams for charity donations, GoFundMe/Just Giving, and advertising/sponsorship. Modern Bedside Units mean better adaptability to customise the features to the needs of each Trust, Hospital and Ward.
It is also a forever developing platform, meaning if new apps come to market that have been vetted by the Play/App stores as well as our internal staff, Trusts have the option to add this to their solution.
The future is looking bright for SPARK® TSL as we move into a new era of Bedside Units. Watch as we change healthcare entertainment and engagement for the better.