Hospital Rooms of the Future

Just like the struggling parent trying to keep apace of his or her children's technological aptitude, hospital rooms are finally beginning to adapt to the newest advances in consumer technology. Instead of the dreary, minimalistic room and bed typically found in hospitals, hospital rooms are equipping more advanced technology to improve health care results and costs.

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Some of these changes integrate new computing technology, such as smartphones, wireless computing, and the Internet. Other changes involve using technology more efficiently to track patient information, such as vitals, medications, and medical history, to improve patient safety in the hospital and to simply tasks typically done by housestaff. The increased use of automation also allows housestaff to do more with less (such as IV administration). The more ambitious changes use new advances in biotechnology and molecular biology to create specialized medications and treatments. The following graphic shows how a typical hospital room may change in the near future, with a combination of both familiar technology and futuristic advancements.

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