Hospitals are aiming to offer better patient care and improve efficiency through a “smart hospital system.” The system can be achieved by fast-tracking their adoption of communication and information technologies such as fifth-generation (5G), industry officials said on Monday.
Officials added that more hospitals are going into partnerships with IT companies to save on their operational costs and to increase productivity.
An official from Olympus Korea said, “By adopting ICT, hospitals can not only improve their patient care service but also reduce operational costs because digital technology helps medical staff make less mistakes.” Olympus Korea sells photographic equipment and medical devices.
Data gathered also shows an increasing number of hospitals are trying to implement digital technologies to convert themselves into smart hospitals.
Market researcher Frost & Sullivan said, 10 percent of hospitals worldwide will develop into smart hospitals by 2025 through their projects.
Siddharth Shah, a transformational health industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, added that more hospitals would center on adopting a smart hospital system to improve clinical excellence, operational efficiency, and patient-centricity.
Samsung Medical Center recently reported that it has been collaborating with mobile carrier KT in developing a 5G-based medical service.
KT will set up a 5G network at the proton treatment center, cancer hospital, and other facilities of the medical center enabling staff to see patients’ information in real-time.
“Given medical staff has to visit the proton treatment center to see the information of patients on proton treatment, the 5G network will improve the efficiency of patient care service as the technology can transfer large amounts of data quickly,” the mobile carrier said.
Meanwhile, rival SK Telecom teamed up with Yonsei University in April to establish a smart hospital system powered by 5G technology.
Yonsei’s new hospital will be constructed in Yongin, south of Seoul. The hospital will feature the mobile carrier’s 5G-enabled services, such as AI augmented reality and AI speakers.
Ewha Womans University Medical Center adopted Olympus’ ENDOALPHA integrated operating room system. The system was used to improve operational efficiency and patient care in its newly opened hospital Gangseo-gu, southwestern Seoul.
The ENDOALPHA allows surgeons to control a range of medical devices with a touch-screen and voice control system. “To install the system, Olympus had cooperated with Ewha when the medical center was building a new hospital in southwestern Seoul. The system has improved the operational efficiency and patient care,” the Olympus official said.
“For instance, a hospital in Germany, which adopted the integrated operating room system, was able to reduce its operating rooms from eight to seven because it could save surgery time. Even though they use one less operating room, they now perform more surgeries than before.”