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What do robots say about the future of healthcare

22 May 2017

The Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Queensland is about to welcome some seriously unique new staff members. It’s not some science fiction scheme, the introduction of robots is the hospital’s attempt to free up valuable human resources for vital healthcare tasks that only humans can do.

The hospital, which already boasts some high-tech facilities, will get robots to do the arduous task of carrying hospital meals from the kitchen to various hospital wards – some as far as half a kilometre away. Operational services staff will then collect the meals from the robots and deliver them to patients personally. The goal is to reduce the amount of resources spent distributing meals, linen and other supplies around the hospital, and free up the staff to provide critical services instead.

With meals on robo-wheels becoming a more common occurrence, what does integrated technology mean for the future of healthcare?

Personalised and customised healthcare

As we find new ways to integrate technology into healthcare settings, we’re likely to see a more streamlined and personalised level of patient care. While there are still barriers to information-sharing, apps like Doctor on Demand are changing the way people are accessing healthcare services. Not only can patients receive appointment reminders via mobile technology, but they can also access important information about their health.

Similarly, healthcare leaders have the opportunity to use “Big Data” insights to inform public healthcare policy and improve the level of patient care.

Reduced strain on valuable resources

It’s not just robots that do the heavy lifting. Medical staff can send reminders to patients digitally and use new technology to dramatically reduce the amount of time they spend doing paperwork. That means less time behind a desk and more time giving patients critical care. Similarly, with patients able to access their own healthcare information – through the Medicare app, for example – we can promote patient independence, focus on prevention and minimise avoidable service use.

We need healthcare leaders to guide the transition

With great improvements comes great periods of transition. While changes and evolution in healthcare technology have the ability to improve the level of care, strong healthcare leaders will be needed to implement these changes. Along with advocating for excellent patient outcomes during periods of transition, healthcare leaders are required to advocate for the implementation of new technologies in their workplace. From deciding which advancements will be most beneficial for staff, patients and hospital budgets, the demand for skilled leaders in the healthcare sector is set to rise.

Southern Cross University Online’s Master of Healthcare Leadership provides you with the valuable skills you need to become a leader in the healthcare sector. Along with a strong focus on managing evolving technology in a healthcare setting, healthcare management courses teach you how to advocate for better patient outcomes, better support to your teams and manage healthcare reform on a policy level.

Learn more by getting in touch with a dedicated Student Enrolment Advisor today on 1300 863 819.