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How the Hospital of the Future Will Look Like?

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Industry

Healthcare facilities are continually evolving to better serve the needs of patients, doctors and staff to meet regulatory compliance for patient satisfaction, operational efficiency and clinical process of care. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the fragility of the healthcare system and how hospitals were completely unprepared for the crisis.

This is just part of the problem, as in many ways the healthcare facilities are stuck in the 20th century. Technology has taken a big leap in different sectors but has been slow to enter healthcare facilities. While there has been some reshaping, the fundamental structure of hospitals has remained the same.

Many changes have been driven by the need to meet public health goals and improve patient outcomes. However, many of these changes have been more cosmetic than substantive. Hence, AI, robotics and the Internet of Things are integrating consumer trends and advancing technology. This new era opens up new frontiers for healthcare.

Today, we are living in the age of artificial intelligence (AI). It is already impacting many parts of human life. But perhaps its greatest impact will be on medicine and the way we monitor human health. Technology is improving care by streamlining the process of managing patient records. Previously, records were kept on paper but today, doctors and nurses can upload digitized patient records.

With electronic health records, physicians can quickly and easily access the entire medical history of a patient. And with all records digitally stored AI can easily scan them. Data has become an important aspect of today’s modern world. Data can prove to be critical for improving our understanding of disease and illness.

The more we understand, the better the chances of preventing, diagnosing and curing diseases. But currently, only a small percentage of medical data is used effectively. Today, terabytes of data are generated by each person. A branch of AI called machine learning focuses on the use of data and algorithms to find a way for humans to learn and gradually improve their accuracy.

In today’s connected world, a lot of data are generated. And as more data become available, the system becomes more intelligent and accurate. Hence AI can read radiography and images with some degree of accuracy. And that can be important for better diagnosis, treatments and outcomes and can also lower cost.

Powerful machines can interpret scans faster than radiologists and can work 24 hours a day. AI can even suggest a diagnosis, just like it gives suggestions in people’s life. And so the time that a doctor comes into play is very specific to important diagnoses. And modern technologies will allow doctors to analyze a patient’s medical history using a database or cloud. This means that healthcare practitioners no longer have to spend hours analyzing a patient’s medical history.

doctor typing on laptop with stethoscope at the side
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Keyboards and computer screens in clinical encounters will be eliminated. A lot of doctors spend up many hours on medical paperwork than with their patients. In the years ahead, we should be able to eliminate paperwork procedures, as these are usually hated by both patients and doctors.

AI tools such as speech recognition technology are now becoming mainstream and could be used in hospitals for capturing data and notes. This will allow doctors to concentrate more on people and deliver better healthcare. The increased use of mobile devices can also lead to the transition from paper to digital reference tools, prescriptions and medication reconciliation.

AI can also oversee every facet of people’s health data, from family history to food intake to exercise with wireless devices. Everybody nowadays has some kind of wearable and connected device. People have the opportunity of having an integrated view of themselves to help prevent illness and help guide them for better management of conditions.

The evolution of technology has paved the way for innovations in healthcare, such as electronic health records. Today, physicians and nurses can consult with patients from miles away. Over time, we’ll see virtual doctors promoting health at home. This would empower people to take charge of their own health.

The Internet has changed the way that people obtain information about their health. Before, visits to a physician were often the only way to receive credible, up-to-date insights into their overall health. But with the proliferation of websites that offer health information, patients are empowered to make their own health decisions. Doctors and patients alike are using the Internet to educate themselves.

Patients will be better informed about their health, they can explain more precisely to medical professionals what are their symptoms. This will help doctors better understand the problem and allow for better treatment. To some extent, the Internet is becoming a trusted source of health information in the world.

doctor using mobile phone
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

With the use of technology, doctors and nurses can communicate easily and more effectively with patients. With access to information, they can make more accurate diagnoses and treat more illnesses. In addition, healthcare professionals can easily access information from home or even on the go, which means that more people can be served.

This can reduce the number of people going to hospitals. As most of the time healthcare facilities of crowded and people have to wait a lot. AI monitoring patients in the comfort of their own homes can help indicate when patients need to go to hospitals. Hence, patients will visit doctors only when it’s important. This can also prevent the spread of diseases.

Caring for people outside of medical settings would not only prevent hospital-acquired disease but could also save money.  Care can be delivered through video consultation. Tracking your vital signs will be very easy as people will have the necessary equipment at home. Just a little drop of blood onto an adapter that connects to your mobile will read the blood tests and will automatically give details and the required action.

With a few clicks of the mouse, you can access the expertise of an expert or doctor from the comfort of your own home. And even if you’re not feeling well, you can call a hospital or doctor from a computer. Remote areas are more likely to lack healthcare providers, they can still be reached and receive the care they need.

The use of telemedicine takes the digitization of healthcare to the next level. Through video telephony and other applications, patients can consult with specialists from anywhere in the world. Telemedicine has the potential to save lives. The use of telemedicine also allows patients to receive care at home.

These technologies use different applications, including the store-and-forward feature and video telephony. These technologies significantly reduce the waiting time and speed up treatment processes. In addition to improving healthcare, telehealth is also used for education and training. And it is not just doctors who are benefiting.

In the decades ahead, healthcare will undergo more dramatic transformations. Medicine will become more precise and may also be personalized. Patients can have a digital twin which is a customized computational model of themselves. Enabling doctors to anticipate illness, guide therapy options and predict outcomes of procedures.

Expanding precision medicine will enable radiologists to make highly specific diagnoses without unwarranted variations. AI-powered decision models fed by vast population health data will improve diagnostic accuracy. Multi-disciplinary highly productive care teams structured around patients and their needs will collaborate to deliver the full cycle of care.

RFID technology can also provide vital signs and enable real-time tracking. 3D printing and other new technologies are also helping doctors create custom dental devices and prosthetics for patients. Moreover, connected devices can send alerts to doctors in real-time. All interactions will become convenient and personalized, thus improving the patient experience.

Virtual reality devices and apps have the potential to ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Meanwhile, augmented reality devices can help surgeons perform complex operations. In the future, you may have to book online for medical appointments just like you might do for an airplane flight. This will eliminate wasting time and overcrowded hospitals. Notifications can easily remind patients of their appointment adding even more value to users.

While these innovations may seem futuristic, they have already begun to make a real difference in our lives. One Australian hospital, the Fiona Stanley Hospital, is a model of a smart hospital. These buildings use sophisticated digital devices and systems to improve patient safety and staff productivity. They also help the hospital run more sustainably and more efficiently.

Digital healthcare trends are changing the world. The way we interact with our health is being revolutionized by technology. And today, there are even more exciting developments that will change everything we know about healthcare. The current global pandemic is pressing people to reshape our environment and our way of life. We have to be smart on how we can utilize the tools we have to our utmost advantage.