Located in the picturesque town of Śmigiel, Poland, Alvo Medical is a family-run business that specializes in everything related to operating room layout and design. Since the company first started producing steel operating room furniture 25 years ago, Alvo has grown to become a worldwide provider of innovative healthcare solutions in the OR.
During our recent visit to Poland, we had the opportunity to visit Alvo’s corporate offices and “Customer Experience Center,” a hands-on showroom of their current and upcoming technologies.
The centerpiece of the showroom is Alvo’s integrated and modular operating room. Modular operating room design incorporates fixtures and furniture that can be quickly and inexpensively customized, removed, and replaced to fit the needs of the clinical staff.
For example, instead of the bare, painted walls in a standard operating room, an Alvo-designed OR is lined with interchangeable stainless steel and glass panels. These wall panels contain an anti-microbial silver ion treatment and better reflect interior and outside light, giving the room a bright and modern appearance. Like LEGO pieces, the panels can alternatively be fitted with touchscreen displays, storage units, automatic doors and windows, and even photos depicting a peaceful landscape. One feature that made the Alvo OR seem particularly futuristic were the photo-chromatic full-length windows that changed from transparent to opaque with just a tap on a control panel.
As for the rest of the operating room, Alvo works actively with the various manufacturers of lighting units, C-arms, cameras, displays, and vitals monitors to integrate with their “Integra” modular touchscreen control system. They still design and manufacture their own OR furniture as well. We thought their scrub sink with hands-free controls and modern design was particularly striking.
At the conclusion of our tour, we drove to a nearby empty field to get a sneak peek at Alvo’s newest project, the mobile field hospital. Consisting of a grid of tents and modified freight containers, these MASH-like facilities can be rapidly set up and easily transported to function in areas of war and natural disasters.