Although technological advancements have been helping healthcare organizations achieve a certain degree of operational efficiency, the drawbacks of manually inputting medical information, inflexible networking, and poor integration between various departments cannot be ignored. These drawbacks restrict the smooth operation of the healthcare organizations which is a requisite in meeting today’s healthcare demands.


In order to overcome these drawbacks, the smart hospital concept has emerged which leverages modern technologies such as AI and IoT. By improving information capture, exchange and communication, AI and IoT are enabling healthcare organizations to implement intelligent recognition, positioning, tracking, monitoring and management, by utilizing RFID, infrared sensors, GPS, laser scanners, and other information sensing equipment for better diagnosis, treatment, management, and decision.

The Growth of Smart Hospitals

With more and more small-scale, un-integrated technologies being used by organizations, the amount of data that is being generated is unimaginable. Furthermore, because these systems usually operate in silos, organizations do not get end-to-end visibility into hospital operations or patient health. This has caused the smart hospital concept to come into the limelight; by combining various technologies like machine learning, AI, IoT, cloud, mobility, etc. smart hospitals are helping healthcare organizations exploit an unprecedented amount of data to offer insights and analysis on a mass scale, at a relatively low cost.


Role of AI and IoT

With smart hospitals being vast ecosystems of smart, connected, Internet-enabled devices, the role of AI and IoT is endless. From enabling personal care, to ensuring timely medication, biosensors to insurance, remote monitoring to the treatment of diseases – AI and IoT are an integral part of the smart hospital and are enabling healthcare organizations to achieve their dream quickly and more efficiently. By 2019, over 40% of healthcare organizations are expected to use IoT-enabled biosensors.


Let’s look at some of the top use-cases of AI and IoT in smart hospitals across operational efficiency, clinical tasks and patient experience:


Operational Efficiency

  1. Facility management: In a hospital environment, various building parameters such as temperature, humidity, air regulation as well as the security need to be optimally maintained. AI and IoT can enable hospitals to efficiently carry out facility management and ensure the physical safety of its incumbents at all times.
  2. Predictive maintenance: With several smart equipments being used in hospitals, AI and IoT can enable predictive maintenance of hospital assets, connected healthcare devices and the tracking of healthcare devices and people for better care outcomes.


Clinical Tasks

  1. Better healthcare decisions: Since IoT aggregates real-time data from healthcare devices, it enables practitioners to carry out the accurate diagnosis in the hospital environment. Such capture helps reduce errors, detect illness patterns and achieve new insights and visualizations.
  2. Precision surgery: Among the many AI robots that are already in use today, medical robots are increasingly being adopted in the hospital environment: from those that carry out precision surgery to those that help in rehabilitation and care delivery.
  3. Drug discovery: The pharmaceutical industry spends on average $2.7 billion for every drug that makes it to market. With AI-powered drug design, companies can enable better predictions in molecular dynamics thereby; greatly improving development efficiency and bringing down development costs.
  4. Orthopedic care: Since physical therapy is a big part of orthopedic care, sensor devices connected to a mobile app can guide patients through their daily exercise routine following orthopedic surgery. By recording the range-of-motion, the data can be shared in real time so clinicians can tweak exercise protocols and guide patients through exercises.

Patient Experience

  1. Remote health monitoring: Through remote monitoring devices, IoT helps shift care from a hospital environment to a private environment such as the patient’s home, whenever possible. This shift not only helps save costs, it also helps reduce the workload on practitioners and enables patients to get back to their normal environment sooner.
  2. Personalized treatment: Since most data from medical devices and monitoring systems end up in a patient’s EHR, AI will enable doctors, lab technicians and other parties involved to get end-to-end visibility into patient health information. Such visibility will help them identify patterns in real-time, spot anomalies in time, and provide personalized treatments.

Improving Healthcare Outcomes

If there’s one thing that can make a difference in the world, it is improving the outcome of healthcare. With the aging population, the rise in chronic diseases, surging healthcare costs (global health spend projected to reach $8.7 trillion by 2020), and the rising demands of patients, improving quality of care has become a challenge for healthcare organizations.

However, smart hospitals are set to bring about a revolution. By incorporating modern technology, automation, and IT innovations across the campus, smart hospitals integrate various aspects of the hospital including building design, hospital operations, hospital care and patient experience – reports suggest the global smart healthcare market is expected to reach $169.30 billion by 2020. AI and IoT are making healthcare faster, more patient-centric and more affordable for the patients, and driving visibility, collaboration and innovation for the providers. Has your healthcare organization started the journey yet?