St. Mary’s Hospital launches first high-tech historical tour Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, May. 17, 2012 -- 12:00 AM
MADISON -- Melding a rich history of care with the latest technology is done daily and seamlessly at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The hospital has been known for many firsts over its past 100 years in Madison, and on May 10, it made the history books once again as the first hospital in the nation to launch a Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled historical tour, giving visitors and patients a high tech way to interact with the hospital’s history.

“We’re constantly monitoring trends in technology and the original plan was to do a QR code tour giving those with smartphones or tablets the ability to watch short video clips at various locations throughout the hospital,” said Steve Sparks, regional director of public relations and marketing.

“After learning about NFC technology, how easy it is to use, and how many smartphones will have it this year, it made sense to include that as an additional way people can interact with our tour.”

St. Mary’s interactive smartphone tour is called “Pieces of Our Past.” There are 14 signs throughout the building with a fun fact about that particular location. Those with smartphones or tablets are able to scan a QR code on the sign with any QR code reading app and then watch a short video about that historical location.

It’s even easier for those with NFC-enabled smartphones (like the Nexus S, HTC One X, or Samsung Galaxy Nexus). They simply tap their phone to the sign and the video will launch automatically.

Said Sparks. “As more smartphones become equipped with this capability, we anticipate other uses as well.”

People interested in taking part in an interactive tour can pick up a brochure and map of the historical locations at the hospital’s information desks.

Also on May 10, St. Mary’s unveiled to employees, School of Nursing alumni, volunteers, and the public its much-anticipated commemorative centennial book. The historical keepsake, made to look like a scrapbook, features 15 short-story snapshots of life at St. Mary’s throughout its 100 years.

Hard cover and soft cover copies will be on sale at the hospital gift shop to be given away as gifts or kept as keepsakes.

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