This Album Riffs on AC/DC to Help Surgeons Rock in the O.R.
Research suggests that the (not-so-soothing) sounds of AC/DC can help doctors work more accurately and efficiently in the operating room. With that in mind, NextMed Health and agency Klick Health created an homage to the iconic Aussie hard rock band. It's specifically designed for playback in O.R.s.
"Highway to Heal" takes its name from AC/DC's 1979 platinum record "Highway to Hell," with tracks spoofing the group's song titles and lyrics:
"Vital signs, beats per minute,
Nobody's gonna slow me down.
Wield my steel, you won't feel it,
Anesthesia has you sleeping so sound.
Hey, patient, you can't lose,
Yeah, your life is safe in my hands.
Hey, Doctor, we're home free
We're on our way to the promised scans.
—I'm on the Highway to Heal!"
The 11-track album will be accessible on Lifesaving Radio, an A.I. station launched to support the effort.
"We've heard surgeons say that music is as important as the instruments they operate with, so we hope that 'Highway to Heal' can be another tool they use to optimize patient outcomes," says Klick Health group creative director Ryan Murphy.
The full album drops in April along with a customizable version of Lifesaving Radio. This month, three tracks were released, timed to honor AC/DC's 50th anniversary. The process of song rewriting began in January.
Lifesaving Radio has its own dedicated A.I. DJ—named for AC/DC guitarist Angus Young—designed to customize the audio experience.
Between songs, "Angus speaks directly to the surgical teams, offering encouragement and amping up the energy, since he knows who's in the room and what kind of procedure they're performing," says Oliver Trower, also a Klick GCD.
The effort uses ChatGPT to generate fresh scripts. So each time a surgical team listens to Lifesaving Radio, the content is customized and varied.
The tracks were recorded by noted tribute artists.
"Iván Gac and Michael Vincent are, hands down, the best vocal channelers of [AC/DC singers] Brian Johnson and Bon Scott in the world," says Murphy. "And Fil Olivieri, our guitar player and mad musical mastermind, was the driving force who helped make our music nearly indistinguishable from the original AC/DC songs." Two members of Alice Cooper's band, drummer Glen Sobel and vocalist Tommy Henriksen, also perform.
Klick created a limited edition version of the album on scrub-colored vinyl for last week's inaugural NextMed Health event, which served as a VIP preview of Lifesaving Radio for hundreds of healthcare professionals, scientists and public health experts. Attendees were also given "World Tour Rock Scrubs"—surgical scrubs designed to look like an AC/DC tour t-shirt.
"We've known the Klick Health team for many years and when they told us how they were bringing the study results to life with Lifesaving Radio and 'Highway to Heal,' we thought it would help set the perfect tone to kick off our inaugural event and create more awareness about the convergence of technology, A.I., music and its role in human performance in the OR, in healthcare and beyond," says NextMed Health founder and chair Daniel Kraft, M.D. "This is just the beginning, with implications and applications far beyond the OR, to enhance clinician and patient experience, and most importantly contribute to better health and results in a meaningful way."
Rich Levy - Chief Creative Officer
Ryan Murphy - Group Creative Director
Oliver Trower - Group Creative Director
Samantha Dolin - Executive Creative Director
Bernardo Romero - Maker
Brian Umali - Associate Creative Director
Laura Denham - SVP, Executive Creative Producer
Jim Chestnutt - Supervising Creative Producer
Bailey Babins - Associate Director, Creative Producer
Kelly Gray - Senior Director, Print & Studio Production
Adrian Morris - Motion Graphic Designer
Spencer Brown - Video/Editing
Tamika Knight - VP, Business Affairs
Sheryl Steinberg - SVP, Communications
Marisa McWilliams - Senior Manager, Communications
Amanda Ferguson - Manager, Communications
Catherine MacInnis - General Counsel
Brianne Cail - Marketing and Social Strategy Manager
Iván Gac - Lead Vocals
Michael Vincent - Lead & Backing Vocals
Fil Olivieri - Guitar, Bass, Backing Vocals
Dries Pottevijn - Guitar
Kris Reaville - Guitar
Tommy Henriksen - Backing Vocals
Glen Sobel - Drums
Brian Rumsey - Drums, Sound Engineering
1stAveMachine - AI & Web Design
Lightfarm Studios - CGI & Animation
The Inlaws Audio House - Sound Design