Healthcare in 2017: The Autonomous World of HealthTech

More...

By Carol Doering, IIDA, CHID | Account Manager

January 24, 2017

THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY TAKES CUES FROM THE TECHNOLOGY SECTOR TO EXTEND ITS REACH AND ACCESS.

AMA Headquarters in Chicago. Photo by Paul Morgan.

AMA in Chicago. Photo by Paul Morgan.

Functioning in a mobile world is what we do. We are agile people, multitasking our way through the day:  coffee on the run ordered on a smart phone, answering emails on the bus, conferencing in one meeting while in transit to another. Where is your desk? Anywhere and everywhere. Our ability to respond to the world around us directly correlates to our resilience within a changing landscape at work and at home. 

Healthcare is also adapting. The pharmacists at your local Walgreens can administer flu shots, check your blood pressure, and address ordinary ills. A smart phone can help doctors evaluate a child’s fever instead of dragging the cranky child out into inclement weather for an exam. Your aging mother wears a monitor that keeps her physician apprised of her real-time health status. If researchers prevail, the infamous Star Trek tricorder—a general purpose techno-tool to collect and evaluate information about our bodies, and assist in the diagnosis of disease and conditions—will become another tool in the doctor’s medical bag. 

TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE

The Rogers Research Group at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has recently developed a wearable patch that could replace traditional monitors. Made of stretchable silicon thinner than half-a-width of human hair, these patches contain tiny electronics that connect to smart phones. This kind of stretchable technology, currently resembling something like a band-aid, may be the future of noninvasive monitoring. The Rogers Research Group is also developing an LED device that can be placed under the scalp to study brain circuits, potentially leading to improved understanding of the brain and some psychiatric disorders.

Image © IA Interior Architects.

These R&D developments are being embraced nationwide, and a new healthcare technology building in Denver, Catalyst HTI, is creating a hub for healthcare innovation startups. Catalyst’s founder envisions an environment where entrepreneurs can work on these innovative products with one another. Here, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers is establishing a cutting edge clinic—not only for its members but for the general public—and it doesn’t have a waiting room. Instead, IA has reimagined a welcome area more like a coffee shop or juice bar. You can sit and talk to a nurse practitioner or provider, watch educational videos, and learn more about your health. We’re furnishing it with high-top tables and chairs, a serve-yourself coffee area, and a viewing monitor. The clinic aims to serve the local population with extended, convenient hours that are especially accessible to a new working generation demographic.

The plan for the clinic is also unique. In addition to standard exam rooms, IA has designed an innovation lab (approximately 45 percent of the clinic’s square footage) for integrated clinic exams, which comprise approximately 45 percent of the clinic’s square footage. This dedicated discovery lab is available to entrepreneurs in the building and provides potential for new technology to be piloted within its innovation environment. Such advances are strong indicators that healthcare is following in the footsteps of the technology sector.

SUPPORTING TECHNOLOGY

Strides in medical information technology infrastructure connects physicians, institutions, and pharmacies to each of us, realizing the goal of a medical “home” digitally. Much like we connect with our clients daily through voice and image correspondence, the healthcare field is moving in that direction. Telehealth provides new care opportunities, especially for those in rural or underserved communities, to connect with and receive the attention of medical professionals outside their immediate area. For example, a doctor seeing a patient in a rural clinic can now video conference with a specialist elsewhere, providing both the patient and primary physician with greater autonomy over diagnostic options before treatment or possible helicoptering to a more advanced medical facility. We’re starting to see this a lot in operating rooms as well, where surgeons or specialists may not be able to join the procedure physically but can participate electronically. Quality of care no longer needs to be defined by access.

Image © IA Interior Architects.

In the built environment, these new opportunities require much more data and power for both acute and ambulatory care settings, and where infection prevention is still paramount, wires cannot be exposed. We must design spaces that simultaneously support infrastructure, architecture, equipment, and purpose. “This is a fascinating time for the world of healthcare and healthcare design,” says Emily Sinclair, a senior project manager and healthcare design specialist in IA’s Denver office. “The opportunity to access this technology—to make your life better—that experience as a patient, and as a designer, is very unique.”

Where can we connect and how can we work? When do we receive our medical care? Apparently the answer is almost anywhere and whenever it is convenient.



Carol Doering, IIDA, CHID

Account Manager

Carol is a certified healthcare interior designer who has spent the majority of her career focused on health care environments. She enjoys the challenge of integrating safety, function and beauty all into a single project within the ever-evolving environment for care delivery. You can contact her at c.doering@interiorarchitects.com




Like What You See?

See what is changing in the healthcare design scene in 2018. Click below to read "Healthcare in 2018: The Consumer-Driven Patient."

Fine Arts Flourish at IA


Relish Works, Merchandise Mart, Chicago. This was a freelance project drawn and painted by Chad Finken.Is architecture a fine art? Since the days of ancient ...read more.

Read More

Wayfair Retail Store, Natick, MA


First Wayfair full-service brick-and-mortar store. Natick, MA. Photography © John Horner.Internet retailer Wayfair has opened its first-ever, full-service brick-and-mortar store at a mall in Natick, ...read more.

Read More

The Circular Economy: Part Two


Drawing on natural light for reduced energy consumption and using locally sourced furniture and materials, an environmentally sensitive design for HP Inc.’s new offices at ...read more.

Read More

The healthcare industry takes cues from the technology sector to extend its reach and access.

Click to Tweet

close

STAY IN TOUCH
TWICE A WEEK

  • circle
    Weekly blog updates
  • circle
    Project videos
  • circle
    Whitepapers, company updates, and more

We use the information we collect about you to inform you about IA services, events and related news that may interest you. We do not share or sell your information to third parties. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.


By clicking "SIGN UP," you consent to allow IA Interior Architects to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.