Hospital 4.0: Making the Smart Hospital a Reality

Charting a new era of Smart Hospitals and IoT-powered connectivity in Healthcare

Just a few years ago, the concept of smart hospitals and IoT connectivity sounded like science fiction. The past few years has seen an exponential increase in the capabilities of health technologies, heralding a different model of healthcare: Hospital 4.0. Leveraging on technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can’t deny that medical environments and equipments are becoming increasingly connected. With these technologies becoming more prominent in the healthcare industry, it is set to form the bedrock of the smart hospital.

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Forces that will drive the Hospital of the Future

Currently, according to an article by Phillips, healthcare costs are getting out of hand with the global health spending estimated to balloon by 4.2 percent per year from $7.1 trillion in 2015 to $8.7 trillion by 2020, a trend that is becoming increasingly unsustainable in the long run. If healthcare is to remain affordable in the years to come, a rethink of how hospitals should be run is required. The need to resolve this problem has facilitated the advent of Hospital 4.0. 

According to RFID Journal, Hospital 4.0 is supported by the following 5 pillars: IoT, Artificial Intelligence, big data, 3D printing and virtual simulation. Innovations in blockchain technology, big data management and bio-telemetry is pushing the boundaries of innovation, making the use of artificial intelligence possible in the healthcare industry. The use of artificial intelligence and data analysis will facilitate greater connectivity, ease in access to data and operational workflow, creating a fully integrated hospital of the future. It will also free up clinicians’ time, empowering them to focus their efforts on delivering quality healthcare and maximise performance levels and outcomes. The widespread adoption of technology in recent years will ensure that the idea of a smart hospital will become a reality by 2020.

Challenges facing the Healthcare Industry

To date, the healthcare industry still tends to be very safety-sensitive. There is great concern over safety, especially with regard to patients. Healthcare equipment has to be certified and compliant to safety standards for it to be of use in hospitals. There are many legal obstacles and challenges one has to navigate in order to penetrate into the healthcare market. Nonetheless, the idea of Hospital 4.0 can be envisioned in bringing greater connectivity to the healthcare industry.

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Xerafy has produced innovative RFID solutions for the healthcare industry, playing a vital role in ensuring that the vision of a smart hospital comes to pass. At Ixtapaluca Hospital in Mexico, Xerafy’s autoclavable XS and XXS tags are used to track 11,000 surgical instruments during surgical procedures and throughout the sterilization and maintenance processes.

To learn more about the potential for RFID in a Hospital 4.0 environment, read our white paper, RFID for Medical Device and Surgical Instrument Tracking. Visit our website to find out what we do and read up on some of the success stories our clients have on our blog. If you will like to keep up-to-date with the latest RFID developments in the industry, subscribe to our Youtube channel or connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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