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Hong Kong’s first smart hospital goes into operation

The Medical Center of Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong’s first entirely electronic smart hospital, has been put into operation. Covering an area of 10,000 square meters, the centre has 14 floors with 516 inpatient beds, 90 day-beds, 28 operating rooms, 56 consulting rooms and 16 specialised medical centres. Each medicine rack in the outpatient pharmacy is equipped with an electronic sensor, which can assist pharmacists to pick medicines accurately and keep electronic records.

A pharmacist in CUHK Medical Center stated that when a drug is selected in the PDA program, the corresponding label will light up to show the location of the drug. The pharmacist needs to scan the QR code on the label to make sure it is the expected drug. The light will turn off if the correct drug is taken out of the medicine cabinet. Meanwhile, the batch and expiration date of the drug will be captured when the QR code is scanned, which is convenient for drug recovery.

The centre introduced the first automatic drug dispensing machine to Hong Kong. Drugs that patients need to take at different periods can be scientifically packed through this machine. After the order is verified on the computer by the pharmacist, it will be sent to this machine, which will pack all drugs a patient need in a period in a small bag. Information on these drugs can be found on the surface of the box, including the photos of drugs, dose, time, notes, etc.

High-tech physiotherapy equipment can be seen in the Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Center of the hospital, which provides one-stop assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitative services for clients with sports injuries or other musculoskeletal/neurological conditions.

The Chief physiotherapist of CUHK Medical Center stated that the centre also has an anti-gravity treadmill, “Which uses pneumatic technology to reduce patient’s weight to speed up rehabilitation. This is a running instrument for posture analysis. We use the built-in lens to analyse a patient’s physical condition. This data is helpful in rehabilitation training for patients.”

The CUHK Medical Center promotes the construction of smart hospitals in terms of treatment, service and administration.

“We focus on three goals: WITMED, smart service and smart management. WITMED features totally electronic and paperless medical records. Smart services use technology to support patients throughout the treatment journey. Smart management realises human-machine-things connection through the Internet of Things (IoT),” the CEO of CUHK Medical Center said.

At present, CUHK Medical Center provides general, specialist outpatient and day treatment services with 15 resident doctors and nearly 100 nurses. Other services will be carried out from April 2021, including 24-hour emergency treatment starting in October.

According to recent market research, the Smart Hospital Market is expected to reach US$102.31 billion by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 20.2% between 2020 and 2027. The rising awareness among physicians and patients regarding the benefits of the smart hospital has been directly impacting the growth of the market.

Prevalence of improved healthcare infrastructure, growing need for cost-effective solutions, the introduction of the Internet of things (IoT), enabled devices and technologies, surging number of cases of chronic diseases and adoption of connected devices and instruments are some of the factors that will accelerate the growth of the smart hospital market in the forecast period of 2020-2027.

On the other hand, increasing investment by the government and the growth of emerging economies will further create new and ample opportunities for the growth of the smart hospital market in the aforementioned forecast period.

The rising cost of connected devices and lack of awareness regarding the internet of things enabled solutions and products are acting as a market restraint for the growth of smart hospitals in the above-mentioned forecast period.

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