'Hospital of tomorrow' to feature robots, RFID and lots of home monitoring

Robots, "smart" beds that send vital signs to EMRs, RFID to track equipment and personnel, home monitoring and remote diagnosis capability are just some of the technologies proving their worth right now in some of the most advanced hospitals in America. This may not come as a surprise to those of us who follow health IT closely, but it could be a revelation for people who haven't been to a hospital in a while--or who work in lower-tech environments.

U.S. News & World Report features advances like these, including EMRs themselves, that are paving the way for the "high-tech hospital of the future." And the innovation is spreading beyond the walls of the hospital and clinic. A Kaiser Permanente executive quoted in the story predicts that the home will become the hub for most care by the middle of next decade.

The story is a bit unrealistic in reporting that any doctor in the country someday may have access to an unconscious patient's complete medical record through an implanted chip, given that Harvard Medical School CIO Dr. John Halamka, the recipient of such a chip and pusher of technological boundaries, gave up on the idea that the masses would embrace the idea of carrying personal health records under the skin.

To learn more about this high-tech vision:
- read the U.S. News & World Report story