26.06.24

Crescent Regional Hospital Installs "Holobox" for Real-Time Consultations

Crescent Regional Hospital in Texas pioneers with its first Holobox, a 3D holographic display for real-time doctor consults.

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Author: Sydney Persing

LANCASTER, Texas — Crescent Regional Hospital in Lancaster may look like any other hospital at first glance, but a closer look reveals something unique that sets it apart.

Crescent Regional has installed its first “Holobox,” a 3D, life-sized holographic display that allows doctors to teleport to the hospital for real-time consultations with patients.

The Holobox, developed by the Netherlands-based company Holoconnects, stands at 86 inches tall. The hospital plans to install 24-inch mini Holobox displays in several locations throughout its main hospital and associated clinics. Crescent’s CEO Raji Kumar shared with WFAA that Crescent Regional is the first hospital in the nation to use this technology.

“There’s so much artificial intelligence, robotic technology, so many things,” Kumar said. “So, I’m super excited about being able to bring some of this technology to North Texas.”

Currently, the Holobox is helping doctors reduce travel time. Crescent Regional has a clinic in Farmers Branch, approximately 45 minutes away. Instead of traveling for pre-op, post-op, or follow-up appointments, doctors can now teleport to the hospital from the clinic to meet with patients.

“Our doctors on the north side of town don’t have to drive 30 miles to see one of their patients,” Kumar explained. “They can just hop into the studio for the consult.”

The studio at the clinic has a simple setup with a monitor, microphone, and camera, allowing doctors to teleport to the hospital. “This is what we are using it for now,” Kumar said. She plans to install more “studios” in doctors’ offices and homes and more Holoboxes in the hospital to enable doctors to teleport directly into patient and emergency rooms.

“When I see the patient live there in the emergency room, that will give me more sense of what’s going on over there,” Cardiologist Dr. Saad Hussain told WFAA in an interview via the Holobox. Dr. Hussain noted that a hologram feels much closer to an in-person interaction than a call or Zoom meeting.

“It’s like a 3D image and [the] patient is seeing you, and it looks more like closer to reality. Then, definitely patients get more comfortable.”

Kumar mentioned that this is just the beginning. Her goal is to have Holoboxes in rural hospitals to connect patients with specialists from all over.

“I plan to give it as a service to rural hospitals,” she said. “To say, ‘hey, I’ve got all the specialists on board. I will give you the box, I’ll take care of the camera setups for my specialists.'”

“I’m actually trying to do a mini box in a mobile van, so I could take it to underserved areas, okay, where there’s no specialist help.”

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