Guest post by, Graeme Robertson, Global Business Development Director, Healthcare Solutions, Schneider Electric
According to recent research by the European Society of Cardiology the Gulf region has one of the highest rates of obesity in the world and is facing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease. At least 50% of the population is below the age of 25 and the prevalence of risk factors signals a massive wave of cardiovascular disease in 10-15 years. In response to this and other factors, the Gulf Cooperation Council states are scheduled to invest $55B (approximately 42.3B euro) by 2020 to help create more than 100,000 new hospital beds by 2050 to boost healthcare services.
This topic and others were examined in detail during the Leadership Program for High Performing Healthcare Organisations, which I recently attended in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event was attended by CEO’s and healthcare leaders from the Gulf States and the wider global healthcare community. During the program, all parties agreed that technology will play a major role in addressing some of the critical challenges.
Two major themes emerged where it is believed that technology can have a significant impact:
- Improving the efficiency of healthcare provision
- Providing a more holistic approach to the healing environment where patients are treated as human beings with a mind, body, and soul
I was honored to participate in the program with a presentation on “How an Intelligent Infrastructure can help Reduce Operating Costs and Improve Patient Care” to the event organizers–the Madinah Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship. This presentation described how the successful implementation and integration of healthcare facilities technologies within a single intelligent infrastructure can be extended from the hospital building to encompass electronic health records and telecare services as illustrated below.
The assembled professionals were very receptive to the evidence presented, which showed that an intelligent technology infrastructure can:
- Improve the efficiency of healthcare provision by:
- Increasing staff productivity
- Reducing hospital energy costs
- Reducing average length of stay for patients
2. Provide a more holistic approach to the healing environment by:
- Improving the patient micro-climate
- Allowing patients to have more control over their surroundings and to remain in contact with their friends and families through access to internet communications and social media.
As the Arab world prepares for the influx of patients with cardiovascular disease, the intelligent infrastructure could play a key role in helping healthcare organizations deliver care as efficiently as possible to avoid overloading the systems and possible crisis.
Is your healthcare organization planning to include an intelligent technology infrastructure? Please share your experiences in the comment field below.
To find out more, take a look at our “Healthcare Solutions from Schneider Electric” video.