The entire industry has probably heard the term of ‘Smart Hospitals’ or the ‘Intelligent Hospitals’. However, only a few truly understand the concept, as there is plenty of ambiguity around the term, with each stakeholder defining it in a way that relates to themselves and their services. Some even confuse a digital hospital to a smart hospital. However, an all-encompassing approach, which defines every element of the concept is lacking. Application of the concept is also a challenge – very few hospitals have the financial resources to implement all the smart solutions necessary to become a smart hospital. However, there are strategies that can enable implementation of smart solutions in a piecemeal approach to become smart. Indeed, a majority of existing global hospitals already have or are likely to implement smart solutions. A few smart hospital projects do exist already and are spread across the globe. Additionally, a majority of the new hospital projects (brownfield and greenfield ventures) in the hotspot areas of Canada, Nordic regions, and Australia are likely to be full-scale smart hospital projects.
Without a doubt, smart hospitals will have a major impact on global healthcare systems. Hospital expenditures account for the largest share of healthcare expenditures, and as global economies struggle to reduce overall expenditures on health, smart hospitals will prove to be an effective tool to achieve that target. Additionally, smart hospital approaches enable better quality of care with personalized approaches and reduced medical errors to achieve better patient outcomes. To cater to the trend of consumerization in healthcare, smart hospitals employ a patient-centric approach to ensure patient experience is optimal, allowing for better revenue generation.
This study covers the market imperative for moving toward smart solutions and hospitals, the very definition of a smart hospital along with its framework, the difference between a digital hospital and a smart hospital, profiles of select smart hospitals across the world, and the three areas a smart hospital must cover, such as operational efficiency, clinical excellence, and patient centricity. Additionally, it offers key takeaways for the industries serving smart hospitals – medical devices, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, health IT, internal logistics, and even facilities management and also provides select growth opportunities for vendors to capitalize on. It also highlights the challenges faced in achieving the smart hospital vision, while providing some strategic insight into how these could be alleviated.