How do we imagine the hospital of the year 2025? Recent architectural projects are proposing a radically different vision from the current model. The hospitals of the future will be smart and connected, where patients will be the center of attention.
As the news shows us, hospitals will have to reinvent themselves to face economic problems, but also to improve care and treatment for an aging population. The old model, where all medical services were under one roof, no longer seems to be working in their favor.
Recent constructions have taken a different approach, with the patient walking into “health cities”, where hospital services receive a human face. The “Hospitacité” project in Brussels is a good example of this. Defined by its planners as an urban project, the future Belgian hospital, planned for 2025, will bring together several medical centers on a campus linked to the city by pedestrian bridges and even the metro.
The hospital of the future will be characterized by new architectural trends and will be decidedly “smart” and will focus on the welfare of patients.
Hospitals of the future as places to live
Recent architectural projects for hospitals envisage moving from a single building to a constellation of independent units. This architectural trend, known as the “layer approach”, reins each building as a clearly defined unit with its own lifespan and ability to adapt more quickly to change.
“In this approach, buildings built on the same hospital site have separate life cycles so that they can be transformed independently over time,” explains François Langevin, professor, and biomedical engineer, in an article in The Conversation.
Each building would offer a small but specialized and efficient range of services. The McKinsey & Company consulting firm envisages a hospital campus where some clinics would be responsible for outpatient care while others would be dedicated to rehabilitation. Technical services that do not accept patients or their families, such as laundry or medical-technical platforms, could be built a little further away. The “smart” hospital, as the center of this cluster, would focus only on emergencies, the most severe traumas, the most sensitive operations, and the most serious complications.