The physical space of the hospital will be gradually digitized until virtually every object and sensor becomes part of the so-called ‘Internet of Things.’ These innovations can broadly be categorized as either clinical or experiential, though some will be both. Clinical innovations will involve gathering ever more “signals” from the patient (infrared, sound, electrophysiology, pulse-oximeter, facial expression, etc.) to be sifted in real time through machine-learning algorithms that will help physicians refine their understanding of diagnosis and prognosis in ways we can only imagine today. Experiential innovations will allow health systems and their partners to take a page from Netflix, using the engagement opportunity of the acute care episode to stream digital content to patients and families through TVs, tablets and their own devices from home.
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