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Smart Hospitals – An Insight into Healthcare Infrastructure Automation

Automating the healthcare industry

In the wake of a technological revolution hitting the healthcare sector, automating the healthcare industry is perhaps as urgent as it is difficult. A number of questions and problems plague them who look for solutions which results in a huge expenditure every year. The mother problem seems to be stemming from proper inter systems communications and the exchange of information at the municipal, regional and federal levels.

When faced with the question: <<what is a smart hospital?>> different countries develop their specific concepts and pass laws that standardize, introduce industry standards and also plan and implement targeted programs. The concept of “Smart Hospital” is that of an IT environment that caters to the health industry, specifically to hospitals, and is composed of automated units of specialized and auxiliary processed. In the course of this re-hauling of the systems a huge combination and amalgamation of a large amount of data, cloud computing services, machine learning methods and artificial intelligence solutions are taking place.

e-Health is…

The working of the healthcare industry has already changed considerably with the addition of medical equipment to the network of healthcare systems. The widespread implementation of high tech methodologies will lead to establishing the smart hospital project by 2020. According to estimates, the smart hospital market will be worth $63bn by 2024.

The concept of the “Smart Hospital” is based on optimization and automation of processes in the information-communication and technological environment of interrelated objects. Its purpose is to improve existing procedures to lead to advanced means of medical care and open up

This concept is based on optimization and automation of processes in the information-communication and technological environment of interrelated objects. The purpose of this environment is to improve existing procedures for the provision of advanced means of medical care, and to open up new opportunities for medicine.

The technological or «fourth industrial revolution» consists of combining network devices with cloud computing methods and analyzing large data and artificial intelligence, which makes it hugely important as well as making it possible to call such an infrastructure «smart.»

Trying to define a smart hospital, we could say that it is a relatively new concept born on the intersection of medicine, information, health, and business and related to the usage of information technology support for healthcare.

The ten key principles of e-Health include:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Quality improvement
  3. Attention to personal data
  4. Expansion of the patient’s capabilities
  5. Improving the relationship between the patient and the medical organization
  6. Continuing education and professional development through information technology
  7. Realization of safe data exchange
  8. Expansion of the healthcare framework
  9. Ethical standards
  10. Accessibility for everyone

Whom does it benefit?

The world is turning digital and so are patient experiences. Everyone, from patients to hospitals is using more and high tech devices in hospital rooms and outpatient units. Patients are using wearable devices, remote monitoring devices and smartphones to be on top of their vitals and medication. Hospitals are using smart TVs and tablets for patient and staff education, electronic health records (EHR) to aggregate patient information and providing quality care by providing healthcare professionals with all necessary and relevant data. In this scenario smart hospital systems is no longer anything but a necessity.

Healthcare facilities available in Smart Hospitals:

  • Engagement with Patients: Smart hospitals will result in improved patient and patient family interaction with the hospital medical staff. This can enhance and improve patient and hospital relationships. This can increase the patient’s involvement in their care process and increase their knowledge about their health conditions and the progress of their treatment. It would also enable them access to their health records, test results and daily treatment schedules right from the hospital room. It would also allow patients to get educated in disease management.
  • Streamlined communication: Often doctors become more engrossed on their computer screens than on monitoring patients’ body language or talking to them. This negatively affects patients’ satisfaction which is an important index in the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey and affects reimbursement of doctors. Making use of IoT and mobile technologies improves patient satisfaction with care givers by enabling effective and timely patient communications.
  • Optimized Workflow: Performance improvement can be achieved through tracking and identifying bottlenecks and service slowdowns with the help of IoT and mobile technologies.
  • In-hospital Navigation: Patients or temporary staff can be helped immensely with the help of navigation applications that help to find one’s way in smart hospitals. This can be done with the help of messaging or navigation features that provide turn by turn directions along with arrival time estimates. This will reduce stress in navigating large hospitals by making finding a specific section simpler for patients and visitors.
  • Patient notification: No shows cost the US healthcare system $150bn each year and it can be easily curtailed and managed by push notifications to patients in the languages of their choice on their mobile phones. This notification could include the time of the appointment and the exact office number to contact in case of changes. These kind of notifications could also inform patients about a change in time or location of a pre-fixed appointment. Read more on Incepta’s eRMS, an Automated Reminder Management System for Healthcare Industry.
  • Assets tracking: Many industries other than healthcare use IoT extensively for tracking their inventory and this can easily extend to Hospitals too in batter management of their inventory. This can optimize reorder quantity and timings while also allowing items to be located easily with the help of trackers of item maps.
  • Leveraging data analytics: Wearable devices and smartphones can track volumes of biometric data which can be used by caregivers to find out more about patients individually and as part of demographics of the larger population. Insights thus acquired can hugely improve the quality of patient care while simultaneously contributing to lifesaving research.

The above builds a convincing case for developing in house smart hospital management systems, but let take a look at the challenges faced in trying to build and integrate a smart hospital system.

The major challenges facing hospitals wanting to upgrade to smart hospital management systems are:

  • The conflict of priorities: The priorities of healthcare organizations are to deliver high quality care, maintain patient safety (including safety of patient data), prevent infections, ensure financial productivity, comply with regulatory standards, and keep patients satisfied. Resources are already scarce in handling these challenges. Thus adding on a whole new system and its complications can feel overwhelming to deal with.
  • Becoming «smart» can take several steps: Becoming a smart hospital cannot happen in a sweep. Smart solutions have to be implemented one by one, not in a single step. This means that newer solutions need to be integrated with existing ones making the entire process more spread out and elaborate.
  • Interoperability and cybersecurity: These are two requirements of handling hospital data that are at cross purposes with one another. Hospital devices, systems and networks should necessarily talk to each other in such a way that allows analysis of the data without compromising its security.
  • Unstructured data and legacy systems: Previous data and legacy systems need to be integrated to ensure holistic analysis and to provide access to all collected medical data.
  • Training of Medical Personnel: Training required for medical personnel to use smart systems and devices effectively to support their workflow and ensure semi-automated managing of data flow.

Smart Hospital Features:

Other than industry-specific business processes each medical institution conducts administrative, financial, and economic activities, which also require the help of automated information systems. These systems can be divided into 2 types – Office and Financial.

Classification of Medical IT Solutions

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Components to Be Used to Build a Smart Hospital Management System

Smart hospital software development automatically leads us to think of use of smart technology systems, smart mobility systems and smart systems for patients, staff and equipment. These systems provide smart functionality to objects such as tablets and smartphones and medical devices.
Among the most common smart technologies used in smart hospital software are WiFi, active RFID, sensors, integration platforms, mobile apps, wearables and various dashboards. This is of course achieved by using the power of big data and cloud technologies.

SmartConnect – Ensuring Connectivity between smart devices and applications

At the core of building a Smart Hospital Management System lies the challenges of inter-connectivity between multiple systems, devices and applications. SmartConnect solves this problem by providing an API Driven tool that enables connectivity with various systems and devices. It collects data, provides insights and outlooks on smart building management for hospital infrastructure, commercial and residential building complexes. It leverages the full potential of transformative technologies such as 5G, AI and IoT that can revolutionize smart energy management, including lighting, power supply, smart meters, HVAC and wireless power.

SmartConnect does all this by leveraging the power of APIs to build a foundation for data storage, data sharing, analytics of all sensory data related to environment and energy consumption achieving sustainability goals. Read more on SmartConnect and how it can transform healthcare infrastructures.

Are you looking for an API driven strategy for advancing your business goals? Connect with Incepta for ways to transform your business via an API driven business model.
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