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UAE: Smart hospital rooms to enhance patient experience

Technology companies are planning to introduce infotainment devices to help prioritise care



by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Thu 27 Jan 2022, 5:30 PM

The UAE is set to see the rise of smart rooms in hospitals that will put several routine tasks at a patient's fingertips and provide a customer-focused experience.

Many companies have called hospitals a 'critical frontier for new design'. In addition to a traditional medical bed, the new hospital rooms could feature a fold-out sofa for guests and a view of the outdoors. Technology companies are also planning to introduce infotainment devices to help prioritise care.

The designs for smart hospital rooms were being showcased at Arab Health 2022, a healthcare event that concluded today.

Explaining the rise of the 'smart hospital room', Muhammad Azam, assistant director at Backedn Application, Cloud Solutions, said: "Just as on an air plane you have infotainment, the same idea has been replicated here. Our infotainment system acts as a clinical tool to assist not only the patient but also all healthcare providers, especially nurses."

Using the system, patients and staff can access medical records, order prescriptions and even dim the lights or control the air conditioning in the hospital room.

Additionally, patients who are new mothers can easily see their newborn anytime, even if they're in the hospital’s nursery. Therefore, it digitally integrates care, entertainment and housekeeping platforms.

“Often, patients' hands have tubes and plugs attached to their arms, so the mobility of their hands is quite restricted. If the patient has just delivered, she can see her baby who maybe in the nursery just through the touch of a button. This can also help in meal ordering and room readiness. Patients can go on social media and Muslim patients can even read the Quran," he said.

Patients can also review their bills and find out when their doctor will visit them next.

Azam added: "It’s been observed that patients often ask for a mirror, for which they have to open their phones, or someone needs to fetch the mirror for them. So, this device has the mirror option as well where one can see oneself... Besides, the individual can watch any channel they like and read the newspaper.”

A research conducted by the University Medical Centre of Princeton also suggests that patients who’ve spent time recovering in modern or remodelled rooms have even asked for 30 per cent less pain medication.

This leads to a faster recovery rate or rehabilitation, leading to shorter stays, reduced costs and better mental health.

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“The patient's ID is linked with the patient’s profile that is displayed on the system. As per the patient’s gender and age, the entertainment content is also customised. Additionally, the patient’s education material is available in Arabic and English, both which he/she can refer to post surgery… all with the click of a few buttons," Azam said.

In the process, hospitals score better on improved patient experience and increased satisfactory levels.

“These tools make the care experience better for everyone as new technology platforms create a seamless and streamlined model," he said. "In Saudi Arabia, around seven hospitals have this. In Dubai, it's only one hospital that has introduced it. We are hoping more hospitals will introduce smart rooms with infotainment systems that will ultimately enhance a patient’s operational efficiency.”


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