A unique virtual window initiative has been implemented in the Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute at Rambam Health Care Campus. It helps to meet the unique needs of bone marrow transplant patients in isolation – all thanks to the generosity of the family of Arnon Ori, Z"L.
The Mediterranean Sea, Haifa Bay, sail boats – these are the scenes being enjoyed by certain hospitalized patients in the Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute at Rambam Health Care Campus. However, such views are not accessible from the institute's windows, rather, they are live-streamed into each private room via a special high-definition camera, solely for the benefit of bone marrow transplant patients.
The virtual window initiative was created by the family of Arnon Ori, a resident of a northern community who passed away in 2021 at the age of 65, following a struggle with leukemia. Ori was treated at Rambam over an extended period of time, during which he underwent a bone marrow transplant and then spent four months in isolation to protect him from infection and other complications.
Rambam’s isolation rooms are equipped with all the necessary medical equipment needed to protect the patient's health, as well as multi-channel TV, high-speed internet, and a private bathroom – but there are no windows. During the long period of isolation, Ori thought about others like himself and wanted to try and make life better for them. Following extensive consultations with friends and professionals in various fields, Ori came up with the idea of creating virtual windows that look out on the Mediterranean Sea, similar to the views enjoyed throughout the Rambam campus – including from the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Institute.
“Dealing with this illness while in isolation is not easy,” explains Yaffa Ori, Arnon Ori’s wife. “Arnon gave a lot of thought to this issue, and in his search for a solution, he consulted with Professor Tsila Zuckerman, Director of the Institute,” said Yaffa. “I am happy that Arnon was privileged to see his idea become a reality before he died.”
Because of the Ori family's generous gift, special high-tech screens have been installed in each of the institute’s three isolation rooms for bone marrow transplant patients. The screens are part of a closed-circuit system designed to serve as a virtual window to the outside world. A special high-definition camera is aimed at the nearby shore and northern boardwalk, and streams the images 24/7 directly to the patients’ rooms, creating a virtual window and connection with the real world.
Professor Zukerman notes, “This is an extraordinary gesture on the part of Arnon Ori and his family. It is strongly contributing to a sense of hope and optimism in our patients. It provides them with a window to life outside their hospital room, and helps ease the challenges of an extended hospital stay in isolation.”