Medical Pharmacies Engages Residents with Place-based Media

Medical Pharmacies Engages Residents with Place-based Media

  • Specialty Pharmacy Services Provider Chooses Technology by ScreenScape. 
  • Ease-of-deployment, ease-of use, and distributed co-management capabilities cited as key factors in selecting ScreenScape.

MARKHAM, ON and CHARLOTTETOWN, PE  – (May 3, 2018) – Ontario-based Medical Pharmacies Group Limited (“Medical Pharmacies”) announced Friday it has selected ScreenScape Networks Inc. (“ScreenScape”) to replace its legacy digital signage solution and expand its resident media network. Medical Pharmacies is Canada’s leading pharmacy specializing in providing services to long term care, retirement homes and extended care facilities. They use place-based media to communicate with residents, publishing their own customized programming on television screens which are mounted in lobbies, dining rooms, and other communal areas where residents gather.

“The screens are used to post the local recreation calendar, the food and beverage menu, and generally to keep residents well informed on news and events”, said Puneet Khanna the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Medical Pharmacies. “Our partners also post photographs, local weather information, promotions for community-based food organizations, and even movie trailers, to add interest.”

Medical Pharmacies Engages Residents with Place-based Media

 

Key factors in selecting ScreenScape

Medical Pharmacies is the latest healthcare services firm to use ScreenScape technology to take control of the screens inside its partner facilities, making for a more resident-centered media experience that can be customized to each individual location.

“ScreenScape had the right combination of capabilities and it certainly helped that the technology was easy to deploy and would fit in with existing infrastructure.”
~ Puneet Khanna, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Medical Pharmacies

“We’ve been using place-based media for some time” explained Khanna. “But the old system we used no longer met our needs. We needed something that had more to offer in terms of rich functionality, while being both cost-effective and easy-to-use. ScreenScape had the right combination of capabilities and it certainly helped that the technology was easy to deploy and would fit in with existing infrastructure.”

Using a plug and play device to connect every screen, ScreenScape has simplified the once challenging and capital intensive exercise of building a scalable media network. In this case Medical Pharmacies is able to send a simple piece of hardware out to each of their locations by courier, where local team members can plug the appliances into any TV that is already on premise. Once the devices are online the screens can then be updated dynamically over WiFi and managed remotely using a cloud-based content management platform. The new plug and play device deployment model helped to dramatically lower the cost and the complexity of the rollout.

Medical Pharmacies also cited secure access control and distributed co-management capabilities as additional drivers in their choice of ScreenScape. “We needed a modular system that could be easily tailored to reflect the multi-level organizational structure we support, which is really a hallmark of today’s healthcare services landscape” said Khanna. “Using ScreenScape we are able to involve various stakeholders in the onscreen messaging. Whether they work on premise at a specific location, or at the administration level with one of our facilities partners, we can provide them with simple and easy access to the system. That makes it easier to keep every screen fresh and relevant, and branded in the colours of the organization.

About Medical Pharmacies Group Limited

Medical Pharmacies is Canada’s leading pharmacy specializing in providing pharmacy services to long term care, retirement homes and extended care facilities. From multiple locations, Medical Pharmacies continues to deliver a personalized pharmacy experience to over 40,000 residents, one person at a time.

About ScreenScape

ScreenScape makes software that helps businesses connect and control screens over the Internet. Using a simple plug and play device, ScreenScape customers can turn any screen into a connected digital sign. Once a screen is connected it can be updated, monitored and managed over the Internet using ScreenScape.com.

Brand marketers and retail networks use the technology to publish digital signage content on screens inside their stores. Health clinics, university campuses and other kinds of venues use it to engage and entertain their visitors. It’s part of a growing technology arena called place-based media that is rapidly turning TV screens outside the home into location-specific media channels.

Download a .pdf version of this press release here.
Contact our Sales Team for your own personalized demonstration of ScreenScape digital signage.

Choosing the Right Images for Digital Signage

Choosing the Right Images for Digital Signage is part of our How to Design for Digital Signage series that provides tips and ideas on how you can design better, more effective and beautiful screens.

#4: Choosing the Right Images

Studies show that on-premise digital signage leaves a positive, lasting impression on visitors. Whether it’s used for wayfinding, customer service messaging, or simply entertainment, dynamic digital signage is becoming a hallmark of progressive businesses. Not only can digital signage replace those messy stacks of brochures on your sales counter and fluttering slips of paper on your bulletin boards, but it can also help you keep important information for your staff and customers up to date.

Whatever you’re using it for, your digital sign is going to be more effective if it uses top quality images. This post offers you some basic tips for creating graphics with a professional touch.

Image Quality
You wouldn’t bother watching a television show if it was full of static or snow, would you? The same goes for images used in digital signage. Low quality, pixelated, or grainy images undermine your brand and may leave your audience with the wrong impression.

To avoid poor image quality issues, always ensure the image you are using is at least 72 dpi at full size. For ScreenScape templates, a full size image should be 1366 px wide by 768 px tall (a 16:9 ratio) at minimum, and 1920px wide by 1080px tall is recommended. The rule of thumb is this: if you have to resize a 72 dpi image to make it bigger, it will probably pixelate, but resizing to a smaller physical size is okay.

Another common issue is the stretching or squishing of an image. This is caused by improper resizing. The proper way to resize an image is to “scale” it. This will ensure the width and height of the image remain in the same ratio or proportion. In most image editing software, you can scale an image by clicking on a corner anchor point and holding down the shift key while you move the anchor point to resize the image.

Image File Types
Images come in a variety of file types, but the most popular are .jpg, .png, and .gif. Here is a breakdown of their differences:

  • PNG is a non-lossy file type that can handle transparency. Although .png’s are higher quality images, they are larger in file size than .gif’s and .jpg’s.
  • GIF is a lossy file type that can only handle a limited number of colors. This is why images saved out in .gif format often look like they are made of half-tone dots or pointillism. These days .gif’s are usually used for short animations.
  • JPG is still by far the most popular image file type on the internet. This file type compresses the image, creating a lossy file format, but the file size is much smaller than the other two options. You cannot have a transparent background with .jpg formatted files.

ScreenScape templates allow the uploading of .jpg’s, .png’s and .gif’s of up to 6MB in size.

Image Colour
Over the past couple of hundred years, many studies have been performed on the subject of colour and its emotional and physiological effects. Recent studies have shown that images using an analogous palette consisting of at least five or six colours are the most memorable. Because colour has such a sensory appeal, try to use images that contain bright colours to excite the eye and keep your viewers interested.

Goethe Schiller Rose of Temperaments

The “Rose of Temperaments” designed by Goethe & Schiller in 1798/9 matches twelve colours to human occupations or their character traits.

For more information on image color, check out our previous blog post How to Choose Colors for Digital Signage.

Image Message
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the wrong image can confuse your message or turn off your viewers. Make sure the subject matter of your image aligns well with your intended message and communicates in a tactful way to your chosen audience. Remember to take into account the location or locations where you image might be shown, and try to envision the full context of the situation. If you own an ice cream shop that caters to a younger crowd, don’t use an image that shows a couple of seniors slurping up icy treats in a waffle cone.

We don’t just want people to see our message, we want them to remember it. If you really want to connect with your audience, try to appeal to them on an emotional level. Images containing people, especially people showing emotions, are the most memorable images to use and greatly increase memory retention rates.

Images & Text
Another consideration in choosing the right image for your digital sign is how it will work with your text. If you put your text over the image, ensure your text is still readable. Some images are just too “busy” to use as a background image or do not provide enough contrast for readers to make out the text on top. Check out the ScreenScape template you want to use to determine if your text’s location will interfere with the image. If it looks like your text will not work with the image, you may crop the image differently, choose another image to use, or try another template.

Image Copyright & Licensing
So you were surfing the web and found the perfect image for your digital sign — or did you? Just because an image is found on the internet, doesn’t mean that it is free to use. Most images are copyrighted and require licensing for commercial use. Using a copyrighted image without procuring licensing can lead to legal disputes, suspension of social media accounts, unexpected financial settlements and other headaches. These days, budget is no longer an excuse for obtaining top quality images — there are many free or reasonably priced stock photography sites to choose from. Here are some links to some great free and paid stock photo sites for you to check out:

Free Stock Photography Sites
Pexels.com – Free Stock Photos (Public Domain)
Pixabay – Free Stock Photos (Public Domain)
Unsplash

Paid Stock Photography Sites
Shutterstock Stock Images
123RF Stock Images
iPhoto Stock Images

Automotive showcase (video)

The automotive industry LOVES ScreenScape Digital Signage. Here’s a compendium of content samples being used to sell and service the customer.

Fonts For Digital Signage

Fonts for digital signage is part of our How to Design for Digital Signage series that provides tips and ideas on how you can design better, more effective and beautiful screens. 

#3: Fonts For Digital Signage

Some of your digital signage content will most likely contain text. Images might be more engaging, but it’s text that often allows us to understand complex ideas in a more precise manner.

In this post we’re going to focus on three main categories of fonts and how they apply to digital signage.

 

SERIF
Serif fonts have small lines (sometimes also called “feet”) at the ends of each letter. They tend to be thought of as more classic, serious or traditional. Some common serif fonts include Times New Roman, Garamond and Baskerville.

 

 

SANS-SERIF
Sans-serif fonts are – you guessed it – fonts that don’t have those extra lines at the ends of letters. Because of that, they’re generally thought to look cleaner and more modern. Common sans-serif fonts include Arial, Helvetica and Verdana.

 

SCRIPT (SOMETIMES ALSO KNOWN AS DECORATIVE)
Scripts are based on the fluid stroke created by handwriting. The cursive fonts you’ve seen before that have connecting letters (written in a flowing style) – those are script fonts! Script fonts carry with them more of a personal touch, but also vary in style; some may look like casual handwriting, while some look more like elegant calligraphy.

 

SERIF v.s. SANS-SERIF v.s. SCRIPT
There’s a reason why a lot of your printed books use serif fonts. Many feel that serif fonts make long paragraphs of running text in print easier to read and navigate.

Serif font in books

This changes however when we make the shift to web or pixel based screens. There, sans-serif fonts dominate. The fine, delicate and small details of serifs don’t display as well on big screens (especially those with low resolutions) and can end up looking distorted, so designers tend to favour sans-serif fonts for digital signage and other digital displays. Sans serif fonts are easier to read, especially when you take into account that people may be viewing your screens from a distance. 

For similar reasons, script fonts aren’t great for large bodies of text.

fonts for digital signage

Instead, they’re great for headlines, or situations that call for a personal touch. Say, wedding invitations or holiday greetings.

When designing and using fonts for digital signage, you’ll also want to consider hierarchy. It indicates where a user should start reading and how to proceed. By changing up the font and size, you can easily highlight a piece of text as a main headline.

Font pairing for digital signageExamples of establishing a hierarchy and playing with different font pairings. Left – large serif font for the headline, small sans-serif font for the body text. Right – Two sans-serif fonts go well together, but the difference in size tells the viewer what to look at first.

Main things to remember when choosing fonts for digital signage

  1. Make it readable. Sans-serif is the safest way to go. Serif is for long paragraphs of text (which you should avoid on your digital signage in the first place!) or for short headlines. Script fonts are also ok if text is minimal.
  2. Use no more than 2 fonts. The more fonts you use, the busier and “noisier” your design can appear. This may affect readability.
  3. Establish a hierarchy. The text with the biggest font size should be the main message you want viewers to notice. This is often the headline. Less important text should be smaller in size. This shows viewers where to look and what’s important.

 

Struggling to find the perfect font pairing or want some new typefaces in your arsenal?

The following tools are a great resource: