subburban smart tech

Houston hospital system to open new innovative location

Houston Methodist broke ground on a 400-bed hospital in Cypress. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist will soon break ground on a “smart” hospital in Cypress that is poised to be the smartest of its nine hospitals.

The $650 million Cypress hospital will be modeled after Houston Methodist West and Houston Methodist The Woodlands hospitals. However, the Cypress location is on track to outdo them in terms of smart technology.

“Our commitment to innovation is one more way we set ourselves apart from other hospital systems, and we are committed to making this new hospital the most technologically advanced and innovative hospital ever,” Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist, says in a note to employees.

The new location is being modeled after Houston Methodist West and Houston Methodist The Woodlands hospitals. Rendering courtesy of Houston Methodist

Among the tech highlights of this “hospital of the future” will be:

  • Artificial intelligence and big data aimed at providing safer, better treatment for patients. The hospital will deliver care in specialty areas such as cancer, heart, neuroscience, women’s services, orthopedics, and sports medicine.
  • Fall-monitoring systems.
  • Alexa- and Siri-like voice technology in the operating rooms. This technology is being piloted at Houston Methodist Sugar Land.
  • Smart speakers to control lighting, temperature, and other functions in rooms.
  • Hospital design that enables adoption of virtual care and similar advancements.

The 400-bed Cypress hospital is being built on 106 acres on the east side of the Northwest Freeway between Barker-Cypress and Skinner roads. Houston-based Sysco previously occupied the site. Construction is set to begin this spring. The hospital is expected to open in the first quarter of 2025 and employ about 500 people.

Houston Methodist announced plans for the Cypress hospital in 2021. St. Louis-based McCarthy is the general contractor, and Washington, D.C.-based Page is the architect.

“The new hospital will include the necessary infrastructure for the next century of innovation to improve care and interactions between patients and providers. The smart health system of the future eliminates the barriers of the traditional four walls and geographic boundaries of hospital rooms,” Houston Methodist says.

Boom says the Cypress facility will be “a testament to Houston Methodist’s commitment to innovation.” The health care system launched its Center for Innovation in 2018 with the intent of improving health care safety and quality through digital innovation.

“At Houston Methodist we keep the patient at the center of everything we do, and this new hospital will be no exception,” Boom says. “We are going to take the lessons we’ve learned at the Center for Innovation and the technology we’ve adopted during this pandemic to improve the patient experience by improving communication between physicians, staff, patients and their families and offering the best patient care possible.”

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Building Houston

 
 

A new report says Houston “is poised for further growth” in life sciences. Photo via Getty Images

Houston is receiving more kudos for its robust life sciences sector.

Bayou City lands at No. 13 in JLL’s 2022 ranking of the country’s top 15 metro areas for life sciences. JLL says Houston “is poised for further growth” in life sciences.

Here’s how Houston fares in each of the ranking’s three categories:

  • No. 12 for supply of life sciences-oriented commercial real estate
  • No. 14 for access to life sciences talent
  • No. 15 for life sciences grant funding and venture capital

Earlier this year, Houston scored a 13th-place ranking on a list released by JLL competitor CBRE of the country’s top 25 life sciences markets. Meanwhile, commercial real estate platform CommercialCafe recently placed Houston at No. 10 among the top U.S. metros for life sciences.

JLL applauds Houston for strong growth in the amount of life sciences talent along with “an impressive base of research institutions and medical centers.” But it faults Houston for limited VC interest in life sciences startups and a small inventory of lab space.

“Houston is getting a boost [in life sciences] from the growing Texas Medical Center and an influx of venture capital earmarked for life sciences research,” the Greater Houston Partnership recently noted.

Boston appears at No. 1 in this year’s JLL ranking, followed by the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Washington, D.C./Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Last year’s JLL list included only 10 life sciences markets; Houston wasn’t among them.

“The long-term potential of the sector remains materially unchanged since 2021,” Travis McCready, head of life sciences for JLL’s Americas markets, says in a news release.

“Innovation is happening at a more rapid pace than ever before, the fruits of research into cell and gene therapy are just now being harvested, and revenue growth has taken off in the past five years as the sector becomes larger, an atypical growth track.”

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