Smart Hospitals: The Benefits, The Debate & Connectivity

Smart Hospital

Just as retail spaces, workplaces, and universities continue to embrace smart technology to help them operate more efficiently, there is growing traction in transforming and digitalizing hospitals.

The focus of every doctor and hospital administrator should be to care for patients and address their needs as quickly as possible. Smart Hospitals provide the invaluable gift of time to staff who can benefit from having even a few extra seconds to react in time-sensitive situations.

In addition to addressing matters which pertain to time, continuing to make hospitals smarter offers a multitude of opportunities to significantly improve the wellbeing of the patients they serve. Hospital and clinic owners, administrators, and integrators are also buying-in to the smart hospital movement due to its benefits of competitive value, efficiencies, and financial savings.

Smart hospital use cases

Some of the most common benefits of smart hospital technology include streamlining the work process, improving healthcare decisions with greater data, aiding in patients’ abilities to interact electronically with their physicians, and ensuring that machines are operating effectively.

Space and room utilization are also key for hospitals. Greater knowledge of when rooms and beds are being occupied, or are available can help with greater efficiencies to decrease time in waiting rooms for example. This intelligence also helps with cost savings by providing the ability to turn off energy and power sources when specific spaces are not in use.

And yet, many hospitals with some smart tech capabilities continue to operate with delay – patient data is recorded and analyzed through laborious methods, health records aren’t always electronic, and they may not have the proper systems to allow specialists to make timely decisions while offsite.

Ideal smart hospitals should link and interconnect all communication devices and key players involved in both an individual patient’s care and the overall operation of the hospital facility, in order to have centralized control over all devices, and technologies.

The ongoing data debate

One of the goals of smart hospitals is to store all patient records digitally in the cloud so that they can be directly accessed or remotely accessed seamlessly. From diagnostic findings to recorded allergies to lab data to medications, and more, doctors and nurses treating patients should have efficient access to these data points.

Quick access to these data points can prove to be life-saving intense situations which require immediate action. Smart technology can prevent patients from receiving medicines they cannot tolerate and provide doctors with a bigger picture on a patient’s health to make informed decisions. Yet many have voiced concerns.

For example, hospital administrators and system integrators must ensure the platforms and IoT solutions they implement are fully secure when considering the confidentiality and necessary security measures which must be taken when storing patient records digitally.

The data protection debate also stems around the reality that patients often have the decision-making power over their data storage, which can create limits when they don’t want their information digitalized. To ensure these technologies are serving patients and not violating their rights or hindering proper treatments, many argue that further regulation and standardization of data must occur.

These debates can be healthy, as they result in open dialogue and opportunities for hospital stakeholders with various perspectives to influence smart hospital technologies as they are further developed and released.

With more input from the doctors, integrators, and administrators who are using these technologies, as well as feedback from their patients, dialogue can only aid in serving additional needs and uncovering more robust smart technology medical use cases.

Consistently pushing boundaries with technology

Technologies, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), are pushing hospitals to explore their impact on the medical realm even further. From setting parameters to identify diseases or make diagnoses, to robots performing surgical operations to 3D mapping to augmented reality, technology has completely disrupted and continues to reinvent the way the medical system operates.

Smart hospitals and integrated technologies have only scratched the surface when considering their long-term innovation potentials.

Solving the integration and connectivity issue

In a smart hospital, all devices are designed to be integrated and interconnected, but in reality, there are still many vendor-specific solutions that cannot be properly integrated. This disconnect can prevent the efficiencies that smart technologies present.

Hospitals currently using various solutions or vendors should be able to use one solution which will serve as a single pane of glass to monitor all existing solutions. Axonize’s solution is unique in that it accomplishes this goal. It can also provide additional data to enable hospitals and other end customers to customize and optimize their processes and patient services.

When considering how to select, improve, or expand on smart hospital technologies, it’s crucial to have core platform features. These can’t skip tools include the ability to monitor all systems in one single pane of glass, set rules and send alerts to react in explicitly defined scenarios.

Connectivity of all platforms possible and rule-setting capabilities will allow hospitals to respond more efficiently in times of emergencies to serve patients better, ultimately increasing their wellbeing and with the potential to save more lives.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about your hospital, clinic, or practice can best utilize smart technology.

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