As digital healthcare technologies advance daily, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly sophisticated at doing what humans can do, but with more efficient, cost-effective, and quicker outcomes.
As a result, AI in healthcare is one of the fastest-growing markets in the digital revolution: It’s forecast to grow by nearly fifty percent annually, with an expected jump from a market size of USD 14.6 billion in 2023 to a whopping USD 102.7 by 2028.
Even though the most famous applications of AI in healthcare include robot-assisted surgeries, easing the admin burden on doctors, supporting diagnostic processes, etc., AI is also a crucial tool to improve the design and architecture of hospitals and healthcare facilities.
As AI is set to impact the future of hospital design significantly, the following are some ways that AI could achieve this.
Improved Hospital Efficiency and Outcomes
From saving energy to cutting down on paperwork, the ways AI can contribute to the efficiency and patient outcomes of a healthcare facility are almost limitless. AI can help hospitals optimize their resources and streamline their operations.
For example, AI could help hospitals schedule appointments and allocate staff resources more efficiently, reducing patient wait times and improving staff productivity.
Furthermore, AI can be used to predict when hospital equipment will require maintenance or repair. This will reduce the downtime required for equipment repair and help ensure that hospital equipment is always in good working condition.
Better Patient Experience
AI can help hospitals design more patient-centered spaces tailored to individual patients’ needs. To begin with, AI-powered sensors could monitor patients’ movements and adjust lighting and temperature levels to improve their comfort and overall experience.
Likewise, these sensors could analyze patient data and behavior and alert the staff for an emergency, which is proven to save lives. This will enable hospital rooms to be designed so that healthcare providers can provide the best possible care.
Moreover, AI makes it dramatically easier for architects to design a hospital with flexibility and prioritize the evolving needs of each patient or demographic.
Optimizing the Construction Process
With AI-assisted design, hospitals can marry data-driven design with empathy for patients. AI algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and provide insights into patient needs and preferences, allowing architects to create spaces that are both functional and healing.
For example, AI can help architects optimize the placement of windows for maximum natural light or design spaces that promote privacy and calm.
In addition, AI can also aid in the construction process, helping architects and engineers to collaborate more effectively and identify potential problems before they occur.
This can lead to more efficient and cost-effective construction, while ensuring that the final product meets the needs of both patients and healthcare providers.
Enhancing Safety and Security in Healthcare Facilities
Hospitals and healthcare facilities have a unique and increased risk profile. Due to their nature, hospitals are frequented by physically vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities, chronic illnesses, older adults, and minors. They also have sensitive areas, such as operating and storage rooms.
AI can help hospitals identify and mitigate potential safety hazards before they cause harm. To illustrate, AI-powered surveillance cameras and security systems could monitor hospital corridors for spills or obstructions and alert staff members to potential threats.
AI-powered access control systems can tap into solutions like facial recognition methods to ensure that only authorized personnel can enter sensitive areas.
Additionally, AI can help hospital administration to detect fraudulent activity in billing systems, such as duplicate claims or suspicious charges. This can help prevent fraud and save hospitals money.
Towards a More Flexible and Efficient Future in Healthcare
“The greatest opportunity offered by AI is not reducing errors or workloads, or even curing cancer: it is the opportunity to restore the precious and time-honored connection and trust—the human touch—between patients and doctors,” writes Eric Topol, in his book, Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again.
All in all, AI has already been arguably the biggest disruptor in healthcare, and it has the potential to improve the design and functionality of hospitals significantly. Deployed responsibly and ethically, AI is poised to help architects create a more efficient, personalized, patient-centered healthcare system.