Why should hospitals become smart?


Hospitals become smart the healthcare sector is changing right in front of our eyes, and the recent coronavirus pandemic is not the only reason for it. The matter is in the fact that the patients themselves become smarter, more informed, and want to have more control of their health and the decisions made by doctors. Because of the rising awareness among doctors and patients, it is predicted that the market of the smart hospital will reach 102.31 Billion by 2026, thus, it will happen only in five years.

Should your hospital take on the path of smart and innovative development right now? Perhaps, there are fewer reasons to say no than yes. Below are the most essential ones. 

Main Reasons for Your Hospital to Become Smart in the Next 5-10 Years

Still thinking about the reasons and advantages of becoming a smart, innovative, data-driven, and patient-centric clinic? Are these obvious benefits not enough? Well, here are more of them. 

Cope with Global Challenges

There are four global challenges the healthcare system will face very soon, and some of them are relevant right now.

  1. Pandemic issues. Coronavirus pandemic is already a reality which is here to stay. However, it would be impossible to cope with its challenges without some innovative solutions like telemedicine and robotics assistance. Yes, they are only a part of the smart hospital management system which should cover all the operational areas, however, if to analyze the Chinese experience of coping with covid-19, they were quite effective to reduce face-to-face contacts and reduce the burden on human staff. 
  2. Aging population. According to the Siemens White Paper, the number of 60 years old people will double between 2015 and 2060. The problem of aging populations has been discussed for a long ago, and thus, the healthcare industry of the nearest future will face an increased influx of senior patients who will be in a more serious condition due to age. Here,  such technologies as wearable remote control devices integrated into the hospital ecosystem should come to the rescue.
  3. Medical staff shortage. According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies, by 2026 the healthcare system will be in need of 203,700 nurses to be hired on new positions (and in smart hospitals as well) and to replace retired nurses. Some automatization solutions for a smart hospital may slightly reduce the need for nurses, facilitate their work, and streamline their routine operations. 
  4. Cybersecurity. The issue of cybersecurity is another of the pressing problems of modern hospitals. Of course, smart hospitals will generate even more sensitive and valuable insights-subjected data, so there is a need for additional protection tools that will be developed for smart clinics as well. 

Create a Data-Driven Ecosystem

Modern hospitals are already striving to become data-driven, but they have only partially achieved this. For example, when they were able to achieve interoperability of devices and systems. The smart hospital, in turn, implies the creation of an entire ecosystem based on data. What is more, this data must be analyzed in such a way that it makes sense, and the best technology that can help with this is artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning will become more accessible even to small businesses in the years to come, so there is reason to consider building an AI-powered data ecosystem for your hospital reinforced by AI and ML. 

Build a Healing Environment

A smart hospital means collecting and analyzing all possible data. Yes, patient health information remains a key element, but it is expected that smart hospitals will be able to create a truly healing environment by analyzing the smallest details – for example, oxygen saturation of rooms and patient satisfaction with doctors and nurses. Once each metric reaches its maximum, we can talk about a smart hospital that builds its operations around the best patient experience. Isn’t it a goal worth-achieving? 

Streamline Routine Operations with Automatization and Robotics

Also, automation and robotization are one of the integral elements of a smart hospital. For example, Chinese hospitals are already using solutions that deliver medicines from one department of the clinic to another, thus minimizing human contact and saving nurses’ time. Also, many other routine operations such as injections and wound care will be automated using robots, while nurses will be able to provide more personalized and emotional care to each patient. Of course, this approach will become a competitive advantage in the medical services market.

Offer Holistic and Efficient Patient Experience

According to the McKinsey vision on how the smart hospital should look like, they should provide a patient-centric experience first. This means that the patient gets the opportunity to stay in touch with a hospital and his doctor 

  • before treatment with the help of:
  • wearable and remote control devices, 
  • transferred data analysis, 
  • smart scheduling features, 
  • during treatment in the hospital with the help of:
  • facial recognition for identification and access to personal medical data,
  • real-time vitals signs tracking, 
  • smart applications for diagnostics, illness suggesting and testing, 
  • automatic drugs delivery 
  • automatically generated reports sent to the doctor’s app, 
  • after treatment with the help of:
  • follow-up online consultation
  • remote control wearable devices
  • self-help applications
  • automatic reporting to the doctor. 

This is really a cutting-edge experience, some parts of which you may start implementing right now, for example, smart doctor appointment apps or wearable devices for remote monitoring integration. 

Final Words

So, the core reason to turn your hospital into a smart medical institution is that this is the only opportunity to stay competitive in the nearest years. The well-informed and tech-savvy patients expect more and more from their healthcare providers, and this is not only about the healthcare itself. Healthcare services have long become an all-encompassing concept that covers each point of interaction between a patient and a medical service provider. 

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