A hospital in Canada has taken technological advancement to a whole new level. This cutting-edge acute care facility, Humber River Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, features a state-of-the-art digital Command Centre and a pair of friendly robots named Pepper 1 and Pepper 2, and serves as a potential model for the digital future of health care.
Humber River’s Commitment to the Future
Humber River Hospital set out fifteen years ago to create a facility that placed an emphasis on patient care, families, community, and staff above all else. To achieve this vision, they turned their focus to innovative digital technology in order to improve accuracy, efficiency, and safety, relying on automated systems and processes.
Step one involved the implementation of an innovative digital strategy to make information fully electronic and easily accessible, helping empower patients to take control of their own health care and allowing staff to focus on patient care rather than other tasks that are now in the hands of patients themselves via self-serve kiosks that provide a wealth of information, such as access to personal health records, documentation and delivery of medications and laboratory results, and tracking of loved ones undergoing surgical procedures through every step of the process, from registration recovery. Patients can even utilize these systems in their rooms to control lighting and temperature.
For staff, the benefit is automated monitoring of patient flow in order to improve efficiency. Since its implementation, Humber River Hospital has increased the number of patients cared for by the equivalent of 23 beds. They expect that number to go up to 45 beds as their data improves. This translates to tremendous cost savings for both the hospital and the public.
About Those Robots
Pepper 1 and Pepper 2, humanoid robots located in two separate areas of the hospital, have been a big hit with patients and families. Pepper 1 serves as a greeter, guiding and entertaining patients and visitors as they arrive. Pepper 2 takes over from there, relying on advanced emotion detection capabilities to recognize anxiety and providing comfort to those nervous about an upcoming procedure, helping to reduce their stress. Moving forward, the robots’ creators envision adding additional tasks to the Peppers, including senior care and patient rehabilitation.
Humber River Hospital has fully embraced these groundbreaking technologies and plans to continue using them to improve the patient experience and overall health outcomes in order to make a positive difference.