Hospital 4.0: The Next Evolution of Connected Healthcare

Technologies like the IoT, Big Data analysis, and RFID will enable a new connected model of healthcare, Hospital 4.0, that will improve safety and reduce costs.

There’s been a lot of talk about Industry 4.0, the next evolution of manufacturing that will incorporate the connectivity machines, people, and finished goods to provide complete, real-time visibility into the manufacturing process. A similar evolution is happening in the healthcare space that RFID Journal has dubbed Hospital 4.0 – and it relies equally on the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced analytics, and real-time data collection.

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Today it is already possible to look at existing technology deployments to see how RFID, the IoT, and other solutions can enable Hospital 4.0. In the future, the type of data generated and analysed by these systems will help save lives, bring greater security and agility to health care, and enable greater connectivity in the entire healthcare industry.

In addition to the IoT (and related technologies like RFID and sensors) and artificial intelligence, this transition to Hospital 4.0 will also involve the use of Big Data analysis, 3D printing, and mixed reality/virtual reality simulations to help guide care.

According to the article, global investments in such applications in the healthcare sector are expected to grow to $158.1 billion during the next five years. Both China and the U.S. are planning big investments in the technologies needed for this innovation – an expected $200 billion in China will be directed at fostering research, development, and innovation, and the U.S. is expected to invest $533 billion.

Review of O.R. hardware options at a Brazilian hospital during an onsite survey (Source: Xerafy)

While the investment in Brazil will be much smaller – just $20 billion, according to writer Rodrigo Moreni,  there is significant opportunity in the Brazilian healthcare market as more industries begin developing and offering services. IoT technologies are already bringing greater security and connectivity to the healthcare industry there. Xerafy has undertaken significant research into the Brazilian healthcare market and received positive feedback about the application of RFID technology to track and manage medical devices and surgical instruments in hospitals. 

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, and contact us to speak with our healthcare solutions expert. 

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