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Philips says hospital room design business growing, helping imaging system business

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AMSTERDAM - Royal Philips Electronics NV says it has won its 500th contract to revamp hospital rooms to make medical scans less stressful for patients.

In the past decade, makers of medical scanning equipment such as General Electric, Siemens and Philips have been competing against one another to build imaging machines so that they are less noisy and intimidating for patients. Philips outfits scanning rooms with lighting and sound systems intended to reduce stress.

Company spokesman Steve Klink says the service is becoming an important differentiator for its machines in the $17 billion imaging equipment market. Additionally, the "addressable" market for such "ambient" rooms is more than $100 million, he said, though costs of outfitting any one room vary widely depending on specifications.

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