The hospital room of the future: Dr. Alistair Erskine's 5 predictions

Alistair Erskine, MD, chief digital health officer of Mass General Brigham in Boston, outlined how he sees hospital rooms changing in the future as part of the World Medical Innovation Forum, a virtual event held on May 11.

Dr. Erskine published his thoughts in a report titled "COVID-19, AI and the Future of Medicine." Here are five key predictions:

1. Flat-screen TVs will be ubiquitous and used as communication for two-way video conferencing between patients and caregivers as well as patients and their family members.

2. Hospital rooms will have microphones throughout them to support ambient voice technology. The microphones will constantly listen and record clinicians' notes, and could be used to order medication or blood tests.

3. Remote patient monitoring within the hospital using the video and audio equipment will help lower fall risk without human "sitters."

4. In-hospital location-based services will act as GPS for clinicians to maximize time and efficiency, as well as track where patients are within the hospital. That technology could also bring together clinical teams to meet in person.

5. Patients will receive wearable devices, such as a disposable patch, to monitor their vital signs at discharge instead of a stack of papers and prescriptions.

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