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The Proven Necessity of Music in Medical Facilities

By Kenji Kawaguchi, Founder and CEO, OC Acoustic

I can’t think of a more stressful environment than a doctor’s waiting room. Well, maybe the examination room. And testing labs. In fact, from the time I walk into my doctor’s office for anything from a physical to a procedure of any size or gravity, I’m prone to anxiety, which is to say I’m in the majority of people reading this blog.

Maybe it’s the fear of bad news, or just the unknown that accelerates my heartbeat. All I know is that from the moment I enter the waiting room, my nervous system is on high alert.

It’s no surprise that doctors and medical facility managers invest heavily in managing patient anxieties. Music, of course, is an important tool when helping patients and acclimate to their surroundings. As pointed out in a paper on, “The Neurochemistry of Music” *, well-being and security are in fact improved by listening to music, especially at times of increased anxiety.

Music has long been recognized as having benefits supporting the lessening of mental and physical stress. Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda, PhD, published a ground-breaking paper on the subject, Trends in Cognitive Sciences (April 2013) that listening to music, “...improves the body's immune system function and reduces stress. Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery.” **

Bringing music into a doctor’s office is a costly endeavor if not well managed. For example, a custom-installed commercial system will run well over $20,000; money that could otherwise be invested in medical equipment and supplies.

Here as in so many other applications, the Newport plug-in speaker from OC Acoustic is an audio solution that is tailor-made for the job of bringing music into a space without committing thousands of dollars and or adding unsightly boxes to an otherwise neat environment.

The Newport, which sells for $69.95, is a compact plug-in speaker that disappears by plugging into an outlet, flush against the wall. Visibly, it’s out of sight, yet it fills the space with clear, full range audio that is streamed directly from a phone or tablet.

The Newport disappears from site, so important in busy offices and examining rooms. The fact that it plugs directly into an outlet not only ensures it won’t be a safety hazard, but that it never needs charging, so office managers aren’t forced to think about remaining battery power.

Sound quality remains consistently pure and lifelike, rivaling systems that not only cost more, but take up significantly more space.

In offices that are too large for one compact speaker to fill it, OC Acoustic’s “Party Mode” makes it easy to add up to 50 Newport speakers to a single stream, though two or three total will more than fill the average size office without being too loud and overwhelming.

Music is an important element in any medical facility. OC Acoustic’s Newport simplifies the addition of great-sounding background music without a costly, time-consuming, and messy custom installation project.


*The Neurochemistry of Music:

**Music as Medicine, Amy Novotney, American Psychological Association, November 2013:

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