Photo/IllutrationHospital staff record a program for the hospital radio station “Fuji time” in the Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture, on Dec. 18. (Yoshinobu Matsunaga)

TOYOAKE, Aichi Prefecture--A new radio station here isn’t seeking to attract listeners with the latest hits or the witty chatter of disc jockeys.

Instead, the Fujita Health University Hospital hit the radio airwaves with programming for hospitalized patients through their radio station called “Fuji time” on Dec. 18.

A female patient in her 80s listened to the radio programs on her smartphone.

“It is so nice to be able to listen to the programs repeatedly while I am lying in bed,” she said. “I enjoy listening to the music.”

The radio programs feature patients’ messages and introduction of doctors, and also have poem recitation segments as well as broadcasting the latest medical information and music.

The patients can enjoy the broadcast anytime by scanning a QR code on their smartphones.

According to the health ministry, the radio station inside a hospital is the first of its kind in Japan. Hospital radio is said to have originated in a British hospital in 1926.

The hospital, which has 1,435 beds, the most in Japan, hopes to have patients submit their messages, such as their anxieties or their honest feelings, to the radio station. Hospital officials hope by broadcasting these, it will allow patients to have more sympathy toward one another and receive their treatments in a more positive manner.

One program runs between 40 and 60 minutes. The programs are updated every two weeks.

The radio station will seek requests from patients and broadcast music played by Aichi University of the Arts students, who are collaborating with it.

The radio station is run by 12 staff members of the Fujita Academy, which operates the hospital, as a volunteer effort. They work as the announcer and director and other radio station staff.

The staffers use the reception room of the outpatient building as their recording studio once a month and record the two programs at one time.

Opening the radio station cost about 5.5 million yen ($50,206).

The radio station aims to be enjoyed by a wide range of generations through asking students and local residents to join the effort in the future.