Hospitals adopt ICT to become ‘smarter’

Hospitals are accelerating their drive to adopt information and communication technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data and fifth-generation (5G) network to build a “smart hospital system” with an aim to offer better patient care and improve efficiency.

They added more hospitals are increasing their collaborations with IT companies as they can also save operational costs by reducing human error.

“By adopting ICT, hospitals can not only improve their patient care service but also reduce operational costs because the digital technology helps medical staff make less mistakes,” said an official from Olympus Korea, which sells medical devices.

Data also showed a growing number of hospitals have been trying to adopt digital technologies to transform themselves into smart hospitals.

According to data by market researcher Frost & Sullivan, 10 percent of hospitals around the world will become or will have launched their projects to become smart hospitals by 2025.

Siddharth Shah, a transformational health industry analyst at the researcher, said more hospitals will focus on adopting a smart hospital system in order to improve operational efficiency, clinical excellence and patient-centricity.

Samsung Medical Center announced recently it has been developing a 5G-based medical service with mobile carrier KT.

The mobile carrier will establish a 5G network at the medical center’s proton treatment center, cancer hospital and other facilities enabling medical staff to check patients’ information in real time.

“Given medical staff have to visit the proton treatment center to see the information of patients on proton treatment, the 5G network will improve efficiency of patient care service as the technology can transfer large amounts of data quickly,” KT said.

Rival mobile carrier SK Telecom also joined hands with Yonsei University to launch a smart hospital system, powered by 5G, in April.

At Yonsei’s new hospital which will be built in Yongin, south of Seoul, the mobile carrier’s 5G-enabled services such as AI speakers and augmented reality service for mobile devices will be installed.

To improve operational efficiency and patient care, Ewha Womans University Medical Center has adopted Olympus’ ENDOALPHA integrated operating room system for its newly opened hospital in Gangseo-gu, southwestern Seoul.

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