what's next for health care?
Houston Methodist is regularly exploring new digital health technologies, but, until recently, lacked a proper space to demonstrate their vision for the future of health care. Now, with the Center for Innovation's Technology Hub, the hospital has just that.
The tech hub opened earlier this month in Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. The 3,500-square-foot tech testing ground was renovated from an 18-room patient wing and showcases new digital health technologies like virtual reality, ambient listening, wearables, voice control, and more.
"Basically this space is like a laboratory for digital health innovations," says Josh Sol, administrative director of Innovation and Ambulatory Clinical Systems at Houston Methodist. "It's an opportunity to bring doctors, administrators, and subject matter experts to talk through what digital health could be at Houston Methodist."
The tech hub has re-imagined the experiences patients have and demonstrated the effect technology can have in various experiences — from the waiting room or outpatient care to at-home health and a voice control-optimized patient room. There's a virtual reality demo room that showcases the hospital's use of VR for distraction therapy, as well as for a doctor to demonstrate a surgical procedure for his or her patient.
"Part of this space is to change culture within the organization to promote this type of technology and really grow it because we think we can have some really positive impacts with our patients with these collaboration tools.
The space also features coworking space for industry experts — like Amazon or Microsoft — to come in to co-create, Sol says. Houston Methodist was also the first hospital in Houston to sign up for Apple Health's beta program.
Tours are open to industry professionals, vendors, and staff.
"We're excited for what the future can bring with this space," Sol tells InnovationMap.
Click through the slideshow to see some of the tech hub's rooms and the technology featured.
An interactive space
The purpose of the new tech hub is to allow visitors to interact with technology Houston Methodist is exploring, as well as to tell the story of the hospital's innovations and its patients. The screen upon entry to the hub is one of the only 8K touch-screen monitors and allows a viewer to tap through to see a layout of the hub as well as to hear a story of one of Methodist's patients.