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World’s First ‘Ambient Experience’ Cardiology Suite Opens at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, the Netherlands


Wednesday, February 22, 2006, The Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven and Philips today opened the world’s first Ambient Experience Catheterization Lab (CathLab). The ambient experience design concept aims to improve the workflow of physicians considerably and reduce anxiety of heart patients undergoing catheterization. Initial tests show that the Ambient Experience design concept is leading to faster diagnoses, lower radiation doses and calmer patients.

In a hospital CathLab, doctors insert a thin, flexible tube or catheter in a heart patient’s blood vessel to allow access to the heart or blood vessels without major surgery. With the help of X-ray imaging, doctors can then examine and diagnose the patients’ blood vessels and/or heart. The ambient experience CathLab has been designed around the catheterization procedure to support medical staff and soothe patients during preparation, examination and post procedure.

Advantages for heart patients

Heart patients can be distracted from the CathLab procedure by choosing a favorite visual theme that can be viewed on LCD panels on the ceiling. The theme is accompanied by colored lighting that illuminates the walls and by a sound and scent that also represent the theme. All these senses together make the environment a comforting and calming atmosphere for the patient, reducing anxiety. The room is very clean since all cables and ceiling suspended materials are smoothly integrated in the design of the room.

Advantages for medical staff

The ambient experience CathLab also has special lighting that improves the physician’s workflow. Using diffuse light, any shadows or reflections on monitors are eliminated. Furthermore, equal light distribution makes the room very relaxing and soothing to doctor’s eyes.

The physician can check patient data before the procedure starts at the mirror TV that is placed in the physician preparation room, helping save time. At the tableside, the physician needs to focus on the patient, not the system. Any interaction with medical equipment that would interfere with the physician’s focus on the patient should be kept to a minimum. With the Philips voice control system there is no interaction needed, the system follows the voice command of the physician.

“The first experiments already proved this to be a very important investment for our hospital. The room design and the lighting are so good, tha it can really speed up our workflow. This might even result in less radiation, as our first experiments already have shown. My colleagues and I are also very pleased how this ambient CathLab takes into account the sometimes difficult working conditions we as physicians encounter – extremely long working hours where concentration and patient focus are essential,” says cardiologist Jacques Koolen of the Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven.

Gerard Kleisterlee, CEO of Royal Philips Electronics: “Hospitals find themselves in an increasingly competitive environment needing to differentiate. Philips can help hospitals achieve exactly that, combining insight into the needs of both patients and healthcare professionals with unique technological expertise.”

Gerard Kleisterlee

President/Chief Executive Officer Royal Philips Electronics

* Click here for Mr. Kleisterlee’s CV:
* Click here for images of Mr. Kleisterlee:

Bert van Meurs

Senior Vice President, Manager BU Cardio/Vascular X-Ray

Philips Medical Systems

* Click here for Mr. van Meurs’ CV:

Bert van Meurs
Jacques J. Koolen

Head of the Cardiology department at the Catharina Hospital

* Click here for Mr. Koolen’s CV:

Click here to download Hires images:

Background information

* The Philips Ambient Experience catheterization lab:
* Speech by Gerard Kleisterlee at Catharina Hospital Eindhoven - 22 February 2006:

About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 30.4 billion in 2005. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 159,200 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located at


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