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Posts tagged ‘Hospital’

What Should Hospitals Look Like In The Future?

How do you start when the goal is to design the hospital of the future? When I was writing this chapter for my new book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine, I contacted talented architects, as well as organizations such as NXT Health focusing on this sensitive topic and shared my own views as well.

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Here are a few things from the top of my mind as excerpts from the book:

  • No waiting time will harden the lives of patients as cognitive computers will organize all the details of the healthcare system. It will direct people when and where to go by analyzing their records, and automatically responding to doctors’ notes and prescriptions.
  • Extrapolating from today’s trends, it is clear sophisticated surgical robots will rule the scenes of operating rooms (ORs), although not all ORs will include surgical robots as there will still be operations that could not be performed using only robots.
  • Devices and equipment of radiology, surgery and many other specialties from CT scans to endoscopic technologies will be so small they would all fit in the OR.
  • Cameras will record every movement in the OR as robots will be controlled from a different, sometimes distant locations. Examples are already available, e.g. in the Radboud Medical Centre.
  • Using radiology images such as CT or MRI scans ot patients, surgeons will be able to look into the body and even organs of patients before the operation for better surgical planning and during the operation for more precise movements. Augmented reality in action.
  • It will only include materials that cannot be infected; flexible touchscreens featuring important health data will be around the bed which will be controlled by the patient.
  • The walls might include virtual reality to make sure the patient feels literally at home by showing them images and pictures from their home which they can upload to the system while lying in a hospital bed.
  • Waiting rooms will feature charging sets for wearable devices where data could also be exported before the visit.

Here is how NXT Health thinks about the future of patient rooms:

A canopy above the bed houses electrical, technical, and gas components, even a noise–blocking system. A Halo light box can be programmed for mood and light therapy, and also serving as screen to display clouds or the sky. The head panel contains equipment that can measure almost any health parameter unobtrusively while continually logging results. The footwall features a screen for entertainment, video consultations, and accessing whatever information the patient needs. Floors are made of low–porosity rubber that does not need chemical sealers and does not trap bacteria and other substances. In case of a fall it reduces impact.

To reduce potential infections all surfaces are made of solid materials that are often used in kitchen countertops. A light at the entrance reminds staff to wash their hands before entering the room. Information and data can be added to patient records here as well as at a control panel.

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Although not all advantages will be the consequences of ever improving technologies but a different kind of training for the staff:

The Walnut Hill Medical Center in Dallas has been referred to as the Apple experience hospital due to its design and innovative nature. Potential employees must take a psychological exam, and the application process is exceptionally tough. Patient greeting begin in the parking lot with complementary valet service. Inside, the staff follows the Ritz Carlton “15–5” rule meaning that a hospital employee must smile at the patient from 15 feet and greet them with a warm hello at 5 feet. All employees are trained to communicate properly with patients and their families. Patient rooms feature large windows that provide natural light and pleasuring views.

Read more about the hospital of the future and what examplary hospitals operate today in The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

And as a bonus, here is how people in the 1950s saw the future of hospitals:

Why Would Agent Smith From Matrix Advertise GE’s Hospital Software?

Please someone help me understand why the evil Agent Smith from Matrix is used in the advertisement of General Electric’s new hospital software with such dramatic background music? I might be too conservative now, but advertising a hospital software this way in an era when doctors are threatened to lose their job because of super computers (they won’t), is certainly not a good idea and I don’t think it’s funny.

From Doctor to Futurist: Step #6 The Responsibility

After fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a doctor and a geneticist, I decided to make a brave change in my academic career and started discovering the steps needed to become a medical futurist. There is no clear path or course for that, therefore I try to reveal more and more pieces of information about this exciting journey in this series of blog entries.

In the journey so far, I’ve described what it means to become a medical futurist, I’ve been sharing reports about the key trends of technological advances determining the future of medicine and healthcare (part one and two); Stanford Medical School asked me to talk about the future of mobile health in a short film (below), moreover I’m working on a white paper about the future which should be published early September.

 

Recently, I’ve had a chance to talk and share views with Joe Flower, healthcare futurist of over 30 years of experience; and Ian Pearson, futurologist and author of You Tomorrow. What I wanted to discuss with them is the thin line between collecting trends and aspects about the future and working as a futurist; and they shared very important pieces of advice with me.

In a nutshell, the key is responsibility. Providing predictions about the future and assuming that such technologies will be used by people is relatively easy, compilation of trends is even easier, but coming up with concepts and trend waves which determine the real practical future of medicine taking economics and demographics into consideration, well that is the real job of  a medical futurist.

Let me give you an example. In 1950, the hospital of the future was described in this short video featuring baby drawers and lamps in the OR. It underscores the notion that predicting the future of medicine is extremely hard. Some special developments might get finalized in months, while other obvious ones might need decades.

 

Nowadays, we have to deal with issues such as cyborg overlords, simulating brain activity with computers, bionic eye implants,  the ethical dimensions of radical life extension, self-guided intubation robots, or smartwatches.cyborg

It means making accountable predictions requires advanced systems thinking, therefore I’m starting this open course now.

I want to be a medical futurist who not just collects the current trends and compiles them, but comes up with reasoning that lets all stakeholders of medicine prepare better for the future.

In order to strengthen this position, I will launch a daily newsletter about the future of healthcare soon.

The 7th step will be about the methods used by futuristic studies.

Steps taken so far:

Twitter: Live Surgery, Sugarstats and 100 ways for hospitals

There are too many interesting news and posts focusing on the potential benefits of Twitter in healthcare so I thought I would share these with you in a compilation.

  • The first live-tweeted surgery (Global Neighbourhoods): Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit performed the first live-tweeted surgery. Can you imagine how useful it can be in the future in medical education? (And the monitor on the image proves only Tweetdeck could make it possible.)

twitter-surgery

Photo courtesy of Henry Ford Health Services

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Twitter users now carry on conversations (called “tweets”) with each other, share information learned at conferences and CME events, and query peers about professional concerns. Physician bloggers Ves Dimov, M.D., of Clinical Cases and Images (http://clinicalcases.blogspot.com/) and Kevin Pho, M.D., of Kevin, M.D. (www.kevinmd.com) use Twitter to communicate information rapidly without writing a traditional blog post. Others use Twitter to rapidly share information gathered at conferences that colleagues are unable to attend.

To sum it up, Twitter is extremely useful these days and it will be even more popular in the future. When we are talking about online reputation, we will not refer to blogs, but Twitter accounts. Join the discussions there.

Update: As Bob Coffield pointed out on Twitter, it wasn’t the first live surgery “broadcasted” via Twitter.

Second Life Health News: Healthcare Support Groups

virtualis

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