Healthcare in the 21stcentury has taken a drastic turn for the better in the past decade.

With more stakeholders looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to provide technology-first health care, hospitals around the globe are turning into “smart” hospitals”. This can be attributed to the advent of modern technologies such as IoT, ML, AI, Cloud, Mobility and of course, big data.

Technology and information are going to take the healthcare industry by storm. Let us take a look at some inspirational smart hospital stories to know how they have been impacted by the surge in smart tech, including a combination of cloud computing, machine learning, IoT (Internet of Things) and data.

Latifa Hospital, Dubai

Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) Latifa Hospital implemented an intelligent communication technology in order to enhance patient care, safety, and satisfaction. The system improved staff response times and allowed the hospital to create a quieter environment for the patients using secure text messaging and hands-free voice communication. Also, it helped in improving the workflows and communication efficiency between the staff members.

Another crucial tech that the hospital has implemented is robotics as a part of smart pharmacy. It has enabled the patients to receive their prescriptions from a robot. The robot in question can store up to 35000 different medicines and is able to dispense as many as 9 prescriptions within a minute. The technology works with a single click of a button, based on a barcode. This is what helps reduce the risk of human error at the time of dispensing medication and also, reduce the wait time.

Liverpool Hospital, Australia

Circa December 2013, Liverpool Hospital in Australia used a paper-based sign-out register to log blood products in and out of the OT fridge. This led to several inaccuracies and incomplete registering. Moreover, the use of a paper register also carried the risk that the wrong blood could be dispensed to the wrong patient.

This had the staff worried about the safety of the blood for transfusions. To reduce the risks associated with this, the hospital implemented RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. This helped them track the movement of blood and blood components within the facility. This was done to enhance patient safety as the tags could offer more accurate and real-time information to both the hospital as well as the transfusion service staff.

Currently, the blood is dispensed from the lab based on a written request form. After this, the RFID tag is added to the unit during dispensing. This associates the unit to the matched patient. A specialized software scans it and then it is transported to the operating theatre. The OT staff places the blood in the fridge after scanning their personal ID to unlock the fridge. When the door of the fridge closes, it scans to look for any added products. The same scan automatically adds the product to the fridge’s inventory, and there’s a display on the screen that shows the blood matched to the apt patient.

When this blood is needed for transfusion, the OT staff brings the request form to the smart fridge. By scanning the patient details on the request slip and staff ID card, the fridge’s door opens for removal of the blood. Upon closing, it scans, identifies and displays the product removed. When the wrong product is removed, it automatically displays a message along with an audible alarm to alert the staff about the mistake.

Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia

The Royal Adelaide Hospital, opened in September 2017, is arguably the most technologically advanced hospital in Australia. Let’s look at the key pointers to know what makes it an inspiration for other smart hospitals:

  • It has an entire fleet of robots (Automated Guided Vehicles) that carry the supplies, food, equipment, pharmaceuticals, and meals. There are inbuilt sensors that allow them to avoid obstacles and communicate with lifts. This frees up the staff from doing the manual supply carrying work.
  • The hospital has various wayfinding touch screen kiosks at the key locations. These provide maps and also print out directions, making the visit to the facility a breeze for the patients, especially for the first-timers.
  • RAH has robots that load, store, sort, box and deliver medicines in the order of the expiry dates. These are delivered to biometrically-secured dispensing cabinets located in patient wings.
  • RFID is used to tag equipment and supplies such as wheelchairs and blankets. This prevents stockpiling and reduces the time needed for searching for the lost items.

Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, Canada

The Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, which is expected to be completed in 2020, is slated to be a technologically-advanced health care facility. It will feature fully-integrated ‘smart’ technology systems and medical devices that can speak directly to one another to maximize information exchange. For this, the hospital is taking a connected health strategy approach, which unifies communications and the IOHT (Internet of Healthcare Things). For instance, the futuristic hospital will include 75 smart workflows to enhance the way the staff work and therefore, give more caregivers to focus on the patients. It is going to equip staff with RTLS (Real-Time Location Services) badges to save time by overriding the elevators automatically.

Cedars-Sinai, USA

Cedars-Sinai is a nonprofit academic healthcare organization that serves the diverse Los Angeles community and beyond. A pilot program for more than 100 patient rooms at the health care facility is allowing patients to use an Alexa-powered platform known as Aiva. Using the voice-controlled assistant, patients can tell Amazon Echo devices what they need. This can helps bring assistance to them without the need to get out of the bed. And that is not all, they can also use the devices to get more information about the outside world such as the news, weather and so on. It also cuts down loneliness for patients that have been bedridden at the hospital for a long duration. This will help them enhance their overall hospital experience.

Win Big by Embracing the New!

These are some examples of hospitals who were not reluctant to embrace and adopt emerging technologies and practices. With the cost of technology falling and the rise of new trends in smart healthcare, there will be more opportunities created.

When healthcare facilities make the most of these, there will be no looking back for the digitized centers. From modern asset tracking to better workflows, their operations will be streamlined and more efficient than ever.

Is your hospital innovation-ready? Get in touch with us at SD Global for futuristic solutions. We have what it takes to implement the latest solutions for leveraging your health care facility.