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Introducing the Patient Room of the Future

patient room of the future
At a recent online event, Sheba unveiled innovative plans for how a hospital room and ICU unit will appear and function in the future.

Originally, Sheba’s initiative to design the ultimate, high-tech hospital room for 2030 was supposed to be launched in September, but the coronavirus pushed up the timetable. In an online event last week, the “Patient Room of the Future” was presented. The developers of the tools that equip this specialized room, as well as the medical staff that will eventually use the technologies, were trained and put to the test.

Indeed, many of the technologies integrated into the hospital room for the future have already demonstrated their usefulness in the present for treating coronavirus patients at Sheba.

Dr. Eyal Zimlichman, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba and director of ARC (Accelerate Redesign Collaborate) Innovation Center, explains, “What we are doing every day is to come up with innovative solutions: We are looking outside to find the most exciting start-up companies and inside to design and innovate what is needed to really fulfill the vision for what healthcare should be in the year 2030.”

Several elements of healthcare were considered when the room was planned, such as communication between the doctors, patient-doctor communication, patient-family relationship, medical devices to all patients to self-monitor and send results to the control unit, and AI technology to predict a deterioration in the patient’s condition.

“We had to think of different environments: a normal room, an ICU room, patients at home and so on,” said Sheba Chief Information Officer Shimi Ernst, who focused on the IT aspect of the room. “My advice to my team was to open their imagination,” he added.

The creative online event showed the step-by-step medical journey of a virtual Covid-19 patient assisted with various progressive technologies.

  • Joel Cohen, 40 years old, was hospitalized with a relatively mild case of the disease. Initially, he was monitored via an app on his cell phone that analyzed his voice to identify if his symptoms were worsening.
  • Once it was decided that Joel’s condition was deteriorating, a variety of devices were put into play to minimize the staff’s exposure to infection. The doctor spoke to him with the aid of a Meditemi robot, which also allowed him to video call his family.
  • Joel was instructed to check his heartbeat and fever with a telemedicine device by TytoCare.
  • Later on, when Joel had to be transferred to the ICU, a system developed by EarlySense was placed under his mattress, enabling medical staff to monitor his respiratory rate. At the same time, a special system analyzed his urine parameters.
  • An AI program scrutinized all of the data and predicted a deterioration in his condition.
  • When Joel was finally ventilated, a nurse was able to control the device with the guidance of a ventilation expert and VR glasses.

“The combination of the work of all our teams provided us with the opportunity to look into the future in a manner that is very active and dynamic,” said Prof. Amitai Ziv, Director of Sheba Rehabilitation Hospital and of MSR (The Israel Center for Medical Simulation) during the event. “The advantage is that we could bring here hardware, software and healthcare professionals and try out via a simulation environment those technologies, check if they solve problems, and provide feedback to companies and healthcare providers.”

Panelists who participated in the online demonstration pointed out that many of the technologies, some developed by start-ups and others by more established companies, were already in use at Sheba or elsewhere. But now, they were being combined and used to face the coronavirus crisis. Cooperation with the IDF and the defense industry was also highlighted.

However, it was also stressed that a lot of work still awaits, along with many more ideas and opportunities to enhance the “Patient Room of the Future.”

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