Interactive touch display systems in healthcare: an interview with Peter Holgate

insights from industryPeter HolgateSales Director for MultiTaction

MultiTaction’s interactive iWall solution was recently used at the week-long parliamentary launch of the British Lung Foundation’s Listen to your lungs campaign at the Houses of Parliament. Can you please give an overview of the MultiTaction technology and the reason it was used for this launch?

The MultiTaction solution is the most advanced visualization and engagement platform in the market today. Our unique hardware and software solution provides users with a compelling interactive experience as they engage with various forms of content.

For this reason, the MultiTaction displays are used in many different showcase environments across the world; from Museums, Universities and Marketing Suites through to events and exhibitions.

We were contacted by the British Lung Foundation about helping with their event at the Houses of Parliament and were very happy to assist with this cause.

We agreed that we could bring significant value to the event providing the attendees with an alternative, immersive experience and a different approach to their interactions with the content and the 'listen to your lungs' online test.


What feedback did you receive on the technology from the event?

The feedback has all been very positive. As a visual solution during the opening speeches the MultiTaction iWall was mentioned a number of times with people saying it brought a fresh and innovative approach to the showcase area.

Throughout the event, we had many people commenting on how good the wall looked visually and then when they engaged with the content; whether this was the Twitter feed, live updates from the Houses of Parliament or indeed taking the online test through the interactive wall, there was a genuine excitement about the responsiveness of the touch and their overall experience.

Overall, we were delighted that we attended the event, and that we were able to help and really make a difference.


How has MultiTaction’s technology previously been used for a virtual autopsy table?

MultiTaction has some unique hardware characteristics which makes our solution compelling and this drives a lot of the user experience when they are interacting with different forms of content. The other key advantage we have is the flexibility of our software.

We have different software solutions for different scenarios; whether this be a showcase event or whether this is for production or practical use.

We also have a powerful and flexible SDK that our partner network can use to develop their own bespoke content and applications and have these available through the MultiTaction displays.

The Virtual Autopsy Table

The video above shows an example of an organization using our SDK and bringing their own software to provide the capability of a Virtual Autopsy Table. The software was produced by the Visualization Center and Interactive Institute at University of Linköping in Sweden back in 2009.

This is using some of our first generation displays, but even using these early models, our technology was chosen for the responsiveness this provided to the overall experience.

Given the use case here, the user experience was paramount so it needed the market leading interactive display in conjunction with the very powerful software in order to be a success.


What impact do you think interactive touch display systems will have on medical teaching?

When we speak to people across all industry sectors there are two key elements that tend to come up the most; these are visualization and collaboration.

More and more organizations are realizing that it’s not just about providing visual displays for content but it’s now very important for their employees, partners and customers to be able to work together in an interactive way as this drives the best kind of collaboration and ultimately the best outcome for all parties.

We’ve seen the same in all areas of teaching, including medical studies. Interactive technology, such as MultiTaction, helps to bring the content to the fore and brings people closer to the content in a way that other teaching methods cannot do.

It’s through this improved engagement with students where the teaching becomes more effective and drives improved results.

Moving forward, MultiTaction are incredibly excited about the opportunity to support health organizations that make such a difference in people’s lives.

One of the reasons we wanted to act as the chosen partner for the British Lung Foundation was that the interactive experience that people received during the event raised awareness of the importance of lung health in all ages across all members of society.

The way people learn has dramatically changed in the last 10 years and so people respond to this interaction due to the fact that it takes the daily use of Smart Phones and tablets to the next level and allows the user to become truly immersed in the experience.


What other healthcare and research applications has MultiTaction’s technology been used for?

The MultiTaction solution is also being used by researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine in Finland.

In this instance, we are helping to add value to both teaching and research through improved engagement and interactivity with the content, in this case the samples being reviewed. There is a video demonstrating this use case below:

MultiTouch Microscope

Can you please tell us more about the MT Canvus solution and how this is being used by some Medical Schools both from a research and teaching perspective?

MT Canvus is an application that allows organizations to use the MultiTaction solution in a more operational way.

MT Canvus builds on a showcase experience and delivers a compelling solution for use cases including visualization of data and / or processes, collaboration and teaching and training.

There is a more detailed overview of MT Canvus including a short video at the below link:

We partner with a number of Universities across the world and many of these Universities use the MultiTaction technology to help to showcase themselves and their courses to interested students.

The technology is also used as an exciting and interesting way for students to learn more about the University and various activities during their courses.

Since MT Canvus was released last year we have seen many other use cases within Universities focused on how we can help the different Faculties and bring a new dimension to the overall student experience from a teaching and learning perspective, i.e. improving the student experience and helping them to get closer to the content, collaborate with other students and their lecturers and generate new ideas and different ways of thinking.

There is an example of how this is being used and some early feedback at the University of Nebraska:

What have been the main challenges in universities adopting this technology?

As this is a new way of working, it’s important to have all of the key stakeholders engaged in the project to ensure everyone is on board with what the university is trying to achieve.

So long as this is the case, then the adoption process is very straight forward. There would be some functional training involved with the solution but it is extremely intuitive and the users are naturally interested in the technology as it delivers the ‘wow factor’.

It’s then a case of working with the university to develop the various uses for the solution as they start to understand more about the capabilities.


How do you think the costs of this technology will change moving forwards?

As the technology becomes more widespread it’s likely that the costs will start to decrease somewhat due to the economies this can bring from the manufacturing perspective.

The MultiTaction technology has many unique aspects to it though so will likely still carry a premium as the market leading solution.

What do you think the future holds for the use of interactive touch display systems in healthcare?

Based on the way we are seeing the market develop and start to adopt the use of interactive technology, I think there will be many more creative solutions designed for healthcare, both from a teaching and learning perspective, within universities and hospitals, but also from a general operations perspective in terms of diagnosing health problems and helping to explain these to patients along with their potential remedies.

I think this is a very exciting opportunity that enables individuals to learn more about their health through the delivery of an engaging experience.


There is also a developing use case for Pharmaceutical organizations we are working with. Initially they were just using our technology to help to showcase some of their offerings at events and trade shows but they are now increasingly using the MultiTaction technology, with MT Canvus, to help facilitate meetings and ideation sessions with doctors and physicians as they are developing innovative drugs and medicines.

Where can readers find more information?

The best place to find out more about MultiTaction is through our website,

We have a number of showrooms across Europe, with two located in London, and the rest of the World and would be happy to arrange a demonstration of the capabilities if people are interested in seeing the technology for themselves.

There is a link below where people can request a demonstration -


Peter Holgate is the Sales Director for MultiTaction, managing sales in the UK and Ireland. MultiTaction is the leading provider of advanced visualization solutions.

They help organizations engage with their content more effectively, whether this is students working together on a medical science course or a group of data scientists and senior managers developing greater insight from their company information.

The common factor with all scenarios involving the MultiTaction solution is a fantastic user experience which provides an immersive experience for all content types and encourages people to work in a collaborative way leading to the best results.

Prior to joining MultiTaction, Peter has worked in the enterprise software market for the last 12 years and has experience at large corporates in the likes of Citrix Systems and Akamai and also smaller start up organizations. Peter has a BSc in Business Management from the University of East Anglia.

April Cashin-Garbutt

Written by

April Cashin-Garbutt

April graduated with a first-class honours degree in Natural Sciences from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. During her time as Editor-in-Chief, News-Medical (2012-2017), she kickstarted the content production process and helped to grow the website readership to over 60 million visitors per year. Through interviewing global thought leaders in medicine and life sciences, including Nobel laureates, April developed a passion for neuroscience and now works at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, located within UCL.


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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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