The Hospital of the Future
After years of steady gains in life expectancy, it seemed we could declare an age of good health. Thanks to improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and medicine, most of us would live to see 73. Infectious diseases were done away with, and some believed that we no longer needed to prepare for epidemics at all.
And then, on the last day of 2019, the world changed. In a very short time, an outbreak became an epidemic, and before long, the epidemic became a pandemic. It soon became clear that precisely the people that medical progress had managed to keep alive were the ones to fall victim. The chronic suddenly became acute.
The hospital as we know it is dead.
The hospital of the future will be in constant flux, like a theater, transforming its space to the event. If organs can be 3D printed, could the hospital be 3D printed? Using its waste as resource, could it rebuild itself perpetually?
The hospital of the future will be self-sufficient. Like a greenhouse, producing its own crop. If we revive old remedies for common afflictions, could we grow just what the doctor prescribes? The hospital of the future will take your order, like a logistics centre, sorting and sending.
The hospital of the future is a place you will never go. Using its data, the hospital of the future will act remotely, treat each patient individually, monitoring one’s health and operating where needed.
The hospital of the future will give way to the machine, liberating its staff from routine tasks, and leaving precision in the hands of accurate devices.
If it became automatic, could the hospital of the future be more human?