PropTech innovations to overhaul healthcare sector

In a 2030 primary healthcare centre, patients will check-in on screen then use time in the centre’s garden, self-monitoring glass pods or in other areas to work, browse, read or research – until they are called to see their doctor via a smart phone app. These features are part of a visionary project of Assura, the national healthcare property company, to explore surgery design of the future.

The building will be designed around both remote video consulting and face-to-face appointments, incorporating point-of-care diagnostics so patients make fewer journeys for further tests. Digital media throughout the building will help staff share information and patients to feel calm. Patients will also be able to access NHS health apps on tablets, while a ‘check out’ screen will automatically send their appointment and prescription details to mobile devices.

Assura’s project looked at how primary care’s growing use of technology will shift the way its buildings are designed and laid out – with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan likely to influence the way primary care buildings look, feel and operate for the patients and staff by 2030 and beyond.

Simon Gould, Assura’s Head of Development, said:

“In the coming decades, surgery building design will have to reflect the way primary care is using technology. As elements like remote consultation and point of care diagnostics become more familiar, they will change the way GPs and their teams use their space. There’s huge opportunity for the building design to work with technology to help teams to be flexible. This specific design wouldn’t work everywhere: primary care premises must be right for the communities they serve. But many of the principles reflect the experiences the NHS wants us all to have as patients.

“By the time we get to 2030, this initial design may be old news. But today, we hope it at least acts as a starting point for conversations, ideas and innovation: how will primary care, tech and design combine?”

Assura commissioned the design after exploring some of the key technologies already being adopted by primary care. The design forecasts that future healthcare buildings will have diagnostic wings with MRI scanner, CT (computerized tomography) and even artificial intelligence technology capabilities, to support primary care in offering a greater range of services closer to home.

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