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Trends Shaping Connected Hospitals: What Will Your Facility Connect to Next?

Technology’s rate of acceleration is turning tomorrow into today across every kind of industry, and medicine may stand to benefit most

2020 is only a year away and yet so much of the next decade’s remarkable promise is already visible. America’s hospitals have been plugging into the technological revolution that is connecting patients and professionals more powerfully than ever. The smart hospital market was worth over $17 billion in 2017 and there are projections of it growing to more than $62 billion by 2023.

Our recent blog detailed ways your facility can keep its hardware current, but even with best practices, the connected hospital is a constantly evolving target. There’s been a lot of progress in the last few years that has redefined smart hospitals, but a few hallmarks are:

  • Modernized infrastructure designed to accommodate the increasing number of technological devices in hospitals, from primary medical equipment to smart devices used by both staff and patients/visitors
  • Streamlining the entire patient journey from initial examination to treatment and discharge
  • A big shift away from wired to completely wireless interconnectivity and interoperability
  • Progression toward 100 percent Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
  • Empowering patients with greater awareness of their health via technology while deepening the cooperation between the patient and their care team

These developments are boosting hospital performance by maximizing cost efficiency, minimizing errors, and taking communication between patients, physicians, and staff to the next level. This streamlines overall service and mitigates the kind of issues which cost professional’s valuable time and facilities their profits.

What are some of the upcoming trends which will further evolve the definition of a smart hospital?

The developments shaping smarter healthcare

  • Virtual care/Telehealth – Automating the care process and moving it as quickly as possible out of the hospital and into the home benefits both the facility and the patient. Improvements in virtual care will see bio-telemetry being widely adopted to monitor patients post-discharge. Wearable devices will gather bio-data around the clock and transmit it back to a hospital, allowing physicians to keep a 24-hour watch on patients no longer under physical care and adjust physical and medication regimens as required.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning – Patient-connected devices will transmit a constant stream of more accurate data, and AI is set to prove a valuable ally to nurses and doctors. The goal is to employ smart algorithms which can study vital signs, monitoring patients and making decisions on how to proceed without staff needing to be alerted.
  • Big DataThe sheer volume of data being drawn from patients and hospitals has a global benefit. Information from facilities around the world will be combined, analyzed and used to make recommendations for, or even predict, the future. Big data analysis will prove key in constantly updating patient information and lowering readmission rates by providing actionable insights that improve care (as last year’s Most Wired Hospital Award winners are proving).
  • Surgical robots – Robot nurses are already tending wards and the widespread adoption of robotic surgeons will be the future. Telesurgery will take place more often as surgeons remotely connect to robots and control them to conduct operations. China has already successfully performed the first operation of this kind thanks to 5G connectivity (more on that development below).

It’s an amazing future where doctors and patients won’t even have to be in the same country, or ever meet at all. A great deal of the load that weighs medical professionals down and hampers efficiency seems poised to be lifted. One part of the hospital will have to work harder than before, however. The responsibility of successfully handling this overwhelming amount of data will depend on the reliability of a hospital’s wireless network.

Partner with 7SIGNAL for confidence in the wireless future

The cloud will be a critical component in the function of every smart hospital. Eighty percent of wireless operations employed today will be obsolete in 18 months, so being on the cutting edge is vital to mission success. A large hospital can depend on as many as 85,000 connected devices and the advent of 5G mobile connectivity is going to push every hospital’s network to its limits.

Projections for 2020 see the 5G network supporting more than 20 billion connected devices and 212 billion connected sensors, and enabling access to 44 zettabytes (that’s 44 trillion gigabytes) of data gathered from a wide range of devices – from smartphones to remote monitoring equipment.

Partnership with 7SIGNAL will ensure your wireless network is always operating at maximum efficiency, no matter its workload. Our proactive monitoring troubleshoots any performance issues which could impact your service, aiding your IT team in maintaining a powerful and consistent wireless connection. We pride ourselves on providing a service that will fix problems before anyone even complains about it.

Prepare for the connected future now. Get in touch with us to find out more about securing your hospital’s network performance.

7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise Wireless Network Monitoring. The 7SIGNAL platform is a cloud-based Wireless Network Monitoring (WNM) solution that continuously troubleshoots the wireless network for performance issues – maximizing network uptime, device connectivity, and network ROI. We continuously monitor the connectivity of over 4 million global devices. Learn more by visiting our contact page.