How can SMART construction help us re-imagine healthcare?

Delilah Roberts from Nifty Lift explores how technology and analytics are going to shape an interesting future for healthcare construction

SMART hospitals will be able to alter themselves to the needs of individual patients, including making adjustments to the environment, such as heating and lighting

As the worlds of technology and construction develop, the possibilities in the healthcare sector seem endless.

Many of us are already well accustomed to SMART devices, which connect our phones, our computers, and even our households with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home.

But there are much-bigger plans on the horizon when it comes to SMART construction, especially when it comes to SMART healthcare and innovations in future hospital design.

SMART technology, or ‘Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology’, is already transforming the healthcare industry and informing how we will live our lives and provide care for patients in the future.

Day by day we are getting closer to realising the full potential of SMART hospitals

Built around connectivity and analytics, SMART tech allows devices to link up with one another and share information, whether this is about the wearer, the location, or pretty much anything else.

We’ve all become accustomed to smart technology in our day-to-day lives. For example, where would we be without our mobile phones, our tablets, and our smartwatches?

But, as the technology improves, we’re beginning to see everything from SMART cities to SMART hospitals.

Let’s take a closer look at how SMART construction is set to transform the healthcare sector and what we can expect for the future.

The growth of SMART healthcare

SMART technology has become a force for innovation in many sectors, from the use of drones and AI to guide autonomous vehicles such as cherry pickers around construction sites, to inter-car communication.

The healthcare sector, however, is leading the way in terms of SMART construction.

And the global demand for SMART technology in the healthcare sector is set to increase at a rate of around two per centage points higher than the market average for general SMART construction.

In the coming years, SMART technology within the healthcare sector is forecast to increase at a more-rapid rate than the general SMART construction sector.

The global demand for SMART technology in the healthcare sector is set to increase at a rate of around two per centage points higher than the market average for general SMART construction

This is largely down to the need for constant healthcare innovation in countries with ageing populations.

So interconnected hospitals and healthcare systems are set to transform the way we care for one another, with efficient patient-focused care and comfort at the heart of the movement.

SMART hospitals

Imagine a hospital that could react to its patients, slightly alter itself to suit their every need, and do all this without even the flick of a switch.

SMART technology has already made this possible.

Within SMART buildings, a specifically designed wearable device can transmit information to and from the building, and make adjustments according to individual needs.

In hospitals, the SMART building concept revolves around the ideas of comfort and wellbeing, focusing on improving each patient’s experience and ensuring their medical needs are seen to as efficiently as possible — from assisting with diagnosis and appointment bookings, to altering the heating, lighting, and ventilation.

Due to the ageing infrastructure of many UK hospitals, it could be challenging to fully incorporate the Internet of Things into the building — essentially transforming the entire hospital into a giant Alexa device.

Because of this, construction firms are working to adapt, update, or rebuild current hospitals, focusing on incorporating SMART technology and creating the building around the controls that will have the biggest impact on patient welfare.

Particular areas of focus in the construction of SMART hospitals include assisting with clinical service provision, improving the patient experience, and controlling elements of the built environment, such as lighting, heating, and ventilation.

Interconnected hospitals and healthcare systems are set to transform the way we care for one another, with efficient patient-focused care and comfort at the heart of the movement

And, day by day, we are getting closer to realising the full potential of SMART hospitals.

The ultimate aim is to have fully-functional SMART buildings that will know what a patient needs to be treated for the minute they step into the hospital; be able to communicate exactly which equipment needs to be in which room, with which medics, without any human intervention; and treat the patient as efficiently as possible.

SMART technology seems to know no limits, and, as the world of healthcare continues to shape and reform around our needs; we are striving towards a healthier and more inter-connected world for everyone.

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