It’s definitely “science”, but no longer “fiction”... From robots who greet patients as they enter the reception area, to AI that is used to analyze and diagnose based on lab tests; the hospital of the future is already here. Researcher Dolev Vaknin dives into this exciting new world in a series of posts covering the futuristic technologies we are likely to see more of in hospitals in the near future.
Artificial intelligence systems and machine learning, robotics, and advanced communication platforms are being implemented in more medical centers than ever. The final destination? Advanced facilities that provide better, faster, and more accurate care. Join us in this series of posts as we imagine the hospital of the future, explore the new technologies it will offer, and discuss the changes it will bring to patients and medical teams alike.
Contactless physiological monitoring – from radars to cameras and everything in between
Imagine a future where you walk into a hospital, and even before you step into the doctor’s office, your physiological signs such as heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure are already available to the physician, without any physical contact, and in a seamless manner. Sounds like science fiction?
You might be surprised to learn that these technologies are currently under development! Advanced systems based on radio waves and thermal cameras have been found to be reliable for contactless, continuous monitoring of physiological signs. One example is Neteera, an Israeli company that develops systems to measure heart rate, respiratory rate and depth, and movement using advanced sensors, without any touch.
Is it truly effective?
Remote monitoring offers numerous advantages, such as constant and dependable monitoring of all patients in real time. This allows medical staff to provide more effective treatment based on actual medical needs, rather than the current scenario where vital signs are only monitored during physician visits and as needed. Additionally, patients will have an improved experience without the need for clunky medical devices on their bodies. Remote monitoring enables seamless and unobtrusive monitoring, enhancing the healthcare experience for all involved.
Robots in healthcare
As the population ages, the use of robots in healthcare is becoming increasingly common as a solution to the growing burden on hospitals. These robots are designed for medical purposes and assist medical staff with a variety of tasks, such as reducing workload, minimizing medical errors, monitoring and identifying situations requiring a physician’s attention, transporting lab tests and cargo, and more. One example is the MOXI robot developed by Diligent Robotics, which provides logistic services to hospitals. The robot moves autonomously and performs tasks such as replenishing supplies, transporting lab tests, and more, without the need for an operator or medical staff member, thus reducing the workload in the ward. Recent studies indicate that robots in healthcare are becoming more prevalent and efficient, improving processes and even reducing costs for the hospital.
Furthermore, the use of robots can reduce the exposure of medical staff to viruses and other diseases. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals around the world used robots to interact with and treat patients in closed COVID wards, as they could perform certain tasks without human involvement. These robots allowed ongoing communication between patients and physicians, as well as between patients and their family members while protecting medical staff and preventing the spread of the virus.
As the healthcare industry continues to expand and the population continues to age, we can expect to see even greater adoption of robots in hospitals in the future.
In the next chapter of this blog post series,, we will explore how artificial intelligence and remote medicine could revolutionize the field of medicine.