Here's where 'Smart Hospitals' will make big tech investments in the near future

Building on top of today’s digital infrastructure, Smart Hospitals will focus on patient experience, outcomes, the Triple Aim and they’ll make expensive acquisitions between now and 2025.
By Tom Sullivan
03:39 PM
smart hospitals

Most U.S. hospitals have a broad portfolio of digital technologies already in place and other innovations in early development or deployment stages, but far fewer qualify as so-called smart hospitals.

What actually distinguishes a hospital or health system as smart rather than merely digital is, of course, a matter of some debate. Frost & Sullivan in a Thursday report laid out a definition of its own:

“Smart hospitals optimize, redesign, or build new clinical processes, management systems and potentially infrastructure, enabled by underlying digitized networking of interconnected assets, to provide a valuable service or insight, which was not possible or available earlier, to achieve better patient care, experience, and operational efficiency.”

[Also: Solving cloud computing's CapEx vs. OpEx conundrum once and for all]

Already-digitized hospitals looking to make the leap to become a smart hospital will invest in three key areas and several smaller-markets.

Frost & Sullivan said that hospitals will spend more than $5 billion on cloud computing, data analytics and remote patient monitoring by 2025 in each of those three areas.

The firm also projected that healthcare organizations will spend approximately $12 billion on hygiene management, pharmacy automation, patient flow solutions, secure communications, mobile asset tracking and smart rooms.

That roster of technologies will enable hospitals to focus on some of today’s overarching evolutions, notably consumerism, patient experience and the Triple Aim of healthier individuals and populations while driving costs down.

Digital transformation is happening in almost every industry and healthcare is no exception. Analyst house IDC earlier this year pegged the global DX market at escalating as high as $20 trillion in the coming years.

“Smart hospitals,” Frost & Sullivan wrote, “will enable better quality of care with personalized approaches and reduced medical errors to achieve better patient outcomes.” 

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