How Apple helped inspire Stanford's new hospital

Stanford Health Care incorporated user experience ideas from Apple to leverage technology in ways that make its new Palo Alto, Calif.-based hospital more hospitable, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The new $2.1 billion hospital, which opened Nov. 17, has 368 private rooms and prioritized user interface. The former senior vice president of retail operations at Apple Ron Johnson helped advise the development of the new Stanford Hospital.

Patients can choose entertainment options and control the temperature, lighting and window blinds from their beds. Eric Yablonka, CIO of Stanford Health Care, said the technology used is designed to improve the patient and clinician experience.

Specifically, the Stanford Hospital features robots that package prescriptions. There are automated guided vehicles to assist with laundry delivery and trash disposal. Sensors are also being used to track staff and equipment to enhance inventory control and efficiency.

Physicians and nurses can leverage remote monitoring tools from a single location. The Stanford Hospital also is planning to use two patient rooms to test a bedside computer-vision system.

"We tried to build a technology infrastructure that would…make it easier and friendly to be a patient and clinicians, and support healing," Gary Fritz, Stanford Health Care's chief of applications, told WSJ. "It's like when you experience Apple iPhone design or Amazon design. It's a natural way to do the things you need to do."

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