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Reimagining an Imaging Lab and Improving the Education Experience at Kettering College

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Reimagining an Imaging Lab and Improving the Education Experience at Kettering College
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The Challenge

Unfortunately, the technology in the Sonography lab was overly complicated and often faulty, causing the students and faculty members to become increasingly fed up with using certain stations, ultimately depreciating the intent of the real-life learning experience. After far too many help desk service calls, the college decided enough was enough, and they called upon their trusty AV installer Custom Connections to meet with their IT team and department heads for a full system review and necessary overhaul.

Custom Connections did a full review of the AV system in the Sonography lab and found that it had a very complex composite video matrix system. The technology being used, required software engineers to be on call for programming updates, which often took weeks to schedule, while accumulating an overwhelming and ongoing expense for the department. All they wanted was to simplify the system, reduce expensive service calls, and improve the user experience for the IT team, professors, and students.

The Solution

After reviewing the system, Mark Crumbacher, owner of Custom Connections immediately called Brandon White, director of new product development at Vanco International. Crumbacher stands behind Vanco products because – after using a large selection of them in multiple jobs – he found they simply work the way they should and rarely require service or replacement. The Custom Connections team also appreciates Vanco’s unmatched customer service, tech support team, and product development team that has repeatedly helped them design the best system for any kind of installation they’ve come across.

After Crumbacher explained the current complications of the system and vision for what it could be to him, White immediately recommended they install Vanco’s HDBT8X7 Matrix Selector with an IP on-screen Graphical User Interface (GUI). Paired with eight of Vanco’s Evolution EVEXHDB1 extenders, every ultrasound machine could be viewed on any of the learning station displays throughout the classroom, or on the front-of-room interactive display with a simple command – and the best part – no need for any complicated programming. Moving the GUI to an IP-based solution also allowed the Kettering IT team to access the system right from their offices instead of having to travel across campus to the lab every time a professor or student had a question about the system and its functionality. To simplify things even further, Crumbacher was able to retitle each display and each source so that when the professors or students opened the GUI, they would know exactly how to navigate it, simply and effectively.

“We have done several other installations for Kettering College, most of which include Vanco products, accessories, and cables,” said Crumbacher. “When we discovered Vanco products initially, it was during a time when we were looking for convenient products that were available at a decent price point. Vanco’s pricing, support, simplicity, and quality of products are consistently superior to the competition. In fact, we stock many of their more popular products in our trailer so that we always have them on hand. And, they’ve proven to have really great warranty terms. On the rare occasion when I’ve experienced a flawed Vanco product, their team has made sure it was replaced immediately, free of charge. Vanco’s support team goes above and beyond to take care of us and our customers, which is something we cannot say about most vendors.”

The Results

Now that the installation is complete, the Sonography students and faculty at Kettering College are thrilled by the ease of use to say the least. “After just a couple of weeks, I received feedback from multiple professors telling me how much the department loved the new system, and how much easier it made both teaching and learning,” said Crumbacher.

In a post-installation survey conducted by Custom Connections, an anonymous professor said, “We have the best equipment at the college now. Thanks for all of your guidance and for listening to our needs.” Beth Maxwell, Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Sonography, Kettering College said, “The new lab setup has created an amazing step in our approach towards teaching. It allows us to easily toggle between a presentation on the screen, over to what a student is scanning, without the entire class needing to leave their seats to gather around a single machine. This has alleviated a lot of commotion and wasted time and we are now able to focus that time on more efficient teaching without any interruption. It has really smoothed out our entire teaching process!”

“Faculty and students alike enjoy using the system. The resolution is [now] such that we can see ultrasound images, CT scans, and X-rays in excellent detail,” said Susan Price, Professor and Director, Medical Sonography Program, Kettering College. The new AV equipment has also proven to be useful for the new era of virtual learning. “During the pandemic, students have requested that our faculty record our lectures in our lab using our new Vanco AV system, and it has worked out extremely well! We record the lectures, download the videos to YouTube, and then send the link to the students. It is important for them to feel like they’re still here in the classroom, amongst their peers, during this time of significant change in higher education,” added Price.