Highlands Oncology Enhances Diagnostics with PoE Automated Shades from PowerShades

Published: April 1, 2024
Courtesy / Powershades

When you think about advanced medical care, automated shades may not be top of mind. But at Highlands Oncology Springdale, automated Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) dual shades from PowerShades do play a small but important role in helping physicians evaluate diagnostic images, a critical step in determining effective treatment.

Located in Northwest Arkansas, Highlands Oncology Springdale is part of a nationally recognized cancer care facility offering highly advanced treatment options, multi-disciplinary cancer teams, and industry-leading clinical research. Highlands provides its physicians with the most advanced tools and technology, including diagnostic imaging equipment used to detect tumors and abnormalities, determine the extent of disease, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. This equipment includes the most advanced CT, MRI, and PET scanners, as well as ultrasound, X-Ray and CT lung screening devices.

The Results Are Clear

At the Highlands Oncology facility in Springdale, doctors and specialists often view and discuss diagnostic images and patient case documents in what they call their “power conference room.” This room features 90-inch video screens on opposing walls, a long table for meeting and teleconferencing, two PC stations, and a long row of large windows accompanied by custom-made PowerShades “TRUEPoE” automated dual shades.

According to Shemika Wilson, previous Highlands operations manager and current safety officer, the dual shades over each window serve multiple purposes in the space. “The outermost shade uses a light-blocking fabric,” she explained. “When lowered, this custom-fitted blackout shade blocks all the outside natural light. As a result, the PowerShades help the medical professionals have the clearest possible view of all diagnostics displayed on the room’s viewing screens.

“When meeting attendees want some filtered natural light, the blackout shades can be automatically raised while the shade closest to the window can be lowered.”

The second of the dual shades incorporates a screen fabric with 5% opacity fabric that is well-suited for lighting the room when meeting attendees are viewing physical documents and reviewing notes.

Simplicity of Automated Shades 

Wilson also said that she, the doctors, and the specialists appreciate the simple functionality of the PowerShades automated shades.

“One of the really innovative features of these automated shades is how easy they are to control,” she said. “We have the option to control the shades, and set them to go up and down at certain times of the day, through either a PowerShades app on our phones or a control panel on the wall.”

PowerShades automated shades are designed to integrate seamlessly with third party systems. In the case of the control panels in the Highlands conference room, the PowerShades controls are integrated with an intuitive, in-wall touchpanel from RTI.

Wilson continued, “From the installation of the PowerShades right through to now, the shades have been easy to use. They were installed four years ago when the Springdale facility was built and outfitted. As I recall, the installation went very smoothly, with a PowerShades rep on hand to assist. And we’ve had no major issues with them– no malfunctions at all that inhibited their functionality or required any service.”

One of the reasons for simple set-up and operation of Highlands Oncology’s automated shade of choice is the fact that they are what PowerShades calls “TRUEPoE.”

The Power of TRUEPoE

PowerShades’ True PoE shades offer all the benefits of the company’s RF automated product, along with additional advantages not found in any other type of motorized shade, says the company. With TRUEPoE automated shades, a single CAT5 cable provides both power and communications, so there is no proprietary hard wiring necessary. Plus the PoE motor is low voltage (under 50V AC), so it doesn’t require a licensed electrician. And with power coming from a single, central source, more information can be transferred on the network cable while improving reliability over traditional RF solutions.

PowerShades’ TRUEPOE motors also deliver the advantages of a built-in webserver, and can seamlessly connect to the intuitive PowerShades cloud-based Dashboard interface once installed. The PowerShades Dashboard allows users to effortlessly manage, monitor and customize shading preferences; from anywhere in the world, users can create unlimited groups and set scenes and schedules.

In Highlands’ power conference room, the shades can be controlled by any member of the hospital staff to take advantage of the warmth of the sun during colder days and keep rooms cool by lowering the blackout shades during the heat of the summer. If desired, hospital staff can also pre-program the shades to open and close at set times of day or night.

Love at First Button Push

“I love the ease of use of these shades,” said Wilson. “We never have to manually pull on blinds or worry about anything breaking. And we can open and close the shades all at the same time, rather than having to operate each shade individually.”

Wilson concluded, “PowerShades is an exceptional company — both their people and products. These automated shades have been a joy to use. In fact, I love to show off the smooth operation of the PowerShades when we’re giving a tour. They are definitely a source of pride here.”

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