Lancaster’s Crescent Regional Hospital first in North America to offer holographic technology to patients

lady sitting in holobox
Photo courtesy Cresecent Regional

LANCASTER—Crescent Regional Hospital, formerly Crescent Medical Center in Lancaster, has revolutionized healthcare with its recent integration of Holoconnects Holobox technology. This technology allows doctors to teleport life-size 3D holograms to create an immersive and interactive experience that transforms doctor-patient communication.

The hospital recently installed its first full-size 86-inch Holoconnects Holobox hologram display and video studio and plans to install 24-inch Holobox Mini displays at various locations throughout the hospital and associated clinics.

According to Jonathan R. Williams, marketing manager at Crescent Regional Hospital & Hill Regional, Crescent is also the first hospital in North America to have not only a HoloConnect but also to offer patients interfacing holographic technology.

Williams also said the experience is at no extra charge to patients.

“The tech is used when the surgeon might be in Dallas or Frisco but had their surgery at Crescent, and the surgeon needs to do a pre-discharge meeting with the patient or the patient is local to Lancaster (or surrounding cities), but the surgeon is elsewhere, we can bring the patient into the hospital so that they can do any type of clinic visit with the patient,” Williams explained. “The benefits of that is that it saves either the patient or the doctor driving time to be closer to the other, it allows patients to schedule with their doctor sooner and without having to wait weeks or months to have a visit, it cuts down on emissions, and it improves the trust and connection between the patient and doctor because the doctor is 3D and feels like he is very much in the room.  The patient feels more seen, this technology allows for a more physical type of visit because of the whole-body view the doctor has on his end.”

Raji Kumar, owner, CEO, and managing partner of Crescent Regional Hospital and her business partner were at a tech conference last year in Taiwan and saw the Holobox firsthand. At the time it was only being used for advertising in public spaces, retail applications, and in hotels as a digital concierge, but not healthcare.

“Kumar immediately had the vision that this tech could connect rural patients and rural hospitals, such as our sister hospital, Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro, which is a critical care access hospital and the only hospital for a 35-mile radius, to healthcare providers in nearby bigger cities,” Williams said. “She was able to connect with Holoconnects and implement the tech at Crescent but is working with Holoconnects to develop a 24″ tabletop size Holobox so that it is a more portable situation into patient rooms.”

Currently, there is one stationary Holobox in a designated room that the patient has to be accompanied into, but the “studios,” where the hologram originates, can be set up at multiple clinics and all dial into the one Holobox.

The Holobox is already being used at the hospital, and Williams said, “Patients have been blown away by how lifelike the image of the doctor in the Holobox is and how thorough their visit was.”

man in front of tv

Crescent Regional Hospital’s ER received an average of 53 patients daily from January to May 2024, up from 42 patients on average in 2023. Regarding surgeries, the hospital performed 2,242 total surgeries in 2023 and is on track to beat that number with 1,357 total surgeries so far between January and May 2024.

Crescent Regional Hospital serves Lancaster, DeSoto, South Dallas, and surrounding Texas communities.

A press release from the City of Lancaster noted the hospital “is revolutionizing healthcare in an area that has historically been underserved. Predominantly black and Latino residents in these communities have often received second or third-tier healthcare, but Crescent Regional Hospital is committed to changing this narrative with innovative, state-of-the-art solutions like the Holobox.”

Crescent Regional Hospital opened in 2013 as Crescent Medical Center Lancaster, hoping to rekindle the flames of healthcare locally. The name was changed to Crescent Regional Hospital after rebranding in 2021. The hospital, originally called Lancaster Regional Hospital, was closed and abandoned in 2006, and when it reopened in 2013, there was an extensive renovation before its reopening.

In 2019, the arrival of Kumar, former Dallas Regional Hospital CEO and Crescent consultant, was a turning point in Crescent’s journey. The hospital is also noted for its state-of-the-art Cath Lab, added in 2023 and marking a significant milestone in Crescent’s journey towards cardiac and vascular care excellence. This move paved the way for adopting the HoloConnect technology this year.“The innovative technologies at Crescent Regional Hospital are a game-changer for our community, providing cutting-edge healthcare that our residents deserve,” said Lancaster Mayor Clyde C. Hairston. “We are excited about these advancements and their positive impact on our community’s health and well-being.”

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