Philips has developed an innovative concept, in collaboration with Nordsjællands Hospital and Wavecare ApS, where soothing tones, changing coloured lighting and imagery on the wall will create a calming and stimulating ambience for the benefit of women in labour, their families and the medical staff. The maternity ward at Nordsjællands Hospital has opened today two brand-new facilities known as “sensory birthing rooms”. In future, they will provide the setting for the births of some babies delivered at the hospital.
Hillerød, Denmark – Nordsjællands Hospital wanted to modernise its delivery rooms with the aim of creating a room which could be changed in an instant from a normal delivery room to a sensory room, with imagery, lighting and sound used together to create a soothing and stimulating ambience. When it came to choosing partners to collaborate with on this assignment, the hospital opted for Wavecare ApS and Philips, who during last year have developed the solution which is currently installed in two of its delivery rooms. The idea behind this is that the solution can serve as inspiration for other construction projects, including the New Nordsjællands Hospital.
A project with a clinical objective
“The use of lighting, sound and imagery in delivery rooms is based on developments over many years. It is intended to help women in labour to experience calm and reassurance during the birth, thereby enhancing the experience of giving birth for both the woman and her family. We also expect the new sensory birthing rooms to help create a more pleasant working environment for staff,” says Katrine Hornum-Stenz, chief midwife at Nordsjællands Hospital.
The solution developed includes a special audiovisual programme intended to support the rhythm of the woman’s breathing during the first stages of labour. The rhythm reflects the movements which are displayed visually on the large dynamic textile panel and through the lighting and sound in the room.
“The project has a clinical objective primarily since we are aware that feeling reassurance can have a positive impact on the body’s ability to release the hormone oxytocin which stimulates labour and which the body needs to be able to produce contractions. In addition, the sound, lighting and imagery will help provide support to the woman in labour by keeping her calm and focused during the birth,” adds chief midwife Katrine Hornum-Stenz.
Textile panels with specially developed film programmes create peace and harmony
“The task of producing soothing movements, colours and lighting via the textile panel has required a great deal of innovative thinking and development. On the other hand, the result we have produced is also ideal for use in many other areas of the healthcare sector and can be adapted for other patient groups,” explains Bjørn Wennerwald from Wavecare ApS.
Patient-focused healthcare solutions of the future
“At Philips we specifically work on the design of an experience in relation to our healthcare solutions, where we focus on designing products, services, processes and environments specifically aimed at providing a particular experience. For instance, we can use lighting, sound and images to significantly enhance the experience of having an MRI scan, which is beneficial not only to patients but also to the hospital’s productivity. With the sensory birthing rooms, we have created, in collaboration with Nordsjællands Hospital and Wavecare, a unique concept where we are able to combine our areas of expertise to create an environment featuring sound, dynamic lighting and soothing imagery, with the focus on the experience of giving birth,” explains Anne Marie Lund, a Lighting Application Specialist from Philips.
First time ever used in a maternity ward in Denmark
Work on developing ambient experience design has been going on for several years in Denmark and the rest of the world, along with projects on the use of lighting, sound and images as part of patient treatment. However, this is the first time that all three elements (lighting, sound and imagery) are being used in a maternity ward in Denmark.
This makes the project the first of its kind in Denmark. It is being carried out as a Public Private Innovation (PPI) project as part of a collaboration between Nordsjællands Hospital, Phillips A/S and Wavecare ApS. The project outcomes will be included in the planning for the New Nordsjællands Hospital, expected to be ready in 2020.
Read more about Philips’ concepts for delivery rooms and premature babies