Contest: Imagining the Hospital of the Future ($100 Amazon Gift Certificate)

Edit: We’re going to contact the winner in a day or two! Stay tuned!

We saw this post about what hospitals will be like in the near future over at National Geographic and while we thought it was interesting, we thought it would be fun for our readers to brainstorm other ideas in the comments section. In fact we liked this idea so much we’ve decided to give away a $100 gift card to for the most creative, geek-worthy idea among those you guys are going to leave. So go at it. Have fun. And who knows, if the right person reads this we could even affect the future. :)

Here’s the current list of ideas from the infographic:

1) Smart Pills
2) Smartphone Ultrasound
3) Intelligent control of current systems (blinds, food, web access)
4) Medical Tricoder (Star Trek anyone?)
5) Artificial Womb (Matrix… scary)
6) Centralized health display
7) Remote IV programming and administration
8) Smartbed
9) Organ Printer (this is our favorite!)
10) Robotic Surgeons (doesn’t this already exist?)
11) Memory Restoration (how about memory removal!)
12) Medication Security

Hospital Room of the Future
Source: Top Masters in Healthcare


56 Responses to Contest: Imagining the Hospital of the Future ($100 Amazon Gift Certificate)

  1. RFID tracking system for all patients linked with an internal medicine chip. An analysis chip implanted in the patient could constantly track their systems and send that information to an RFID chip that, when scanned, would upload all of the most current status information to a central hospital computer that would then calculate a diagnosis, rather like the Tricorder, and send information to the internal medicine chip to dispense small amounts of medicine to counteract any abnormality. With this system, you could virtually cut out the doctor – and human error – altogether.

  2. GrubHub built in to the bedside controls :D Hospital food really needs the most improvement.

  3. How about real time MRI/CT scans with a 3D holographic display that allows a physician or surgeon to fully explore a patient's innards before cutting them open?

    Either that, or, ya know, making it affordable for most people to have access to medical care without having to go into massive debt for the rest of their life. That'd be cool too.

    • Ah, I see you have the machine that goes ping. This is my favorite. You see we lease it back from the company we sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.

      Don't forget about the most expensive machine in the Hospital in case the Administrator comes!

  4. Cerebral Projection. Literally see what goes on in the mind of a coma patient or even those suffering from mental health disorders or autism.

  5. There's a lot of smart things on the list – smart pills, smartphone, smartbed… but what about a smart doctor? I think those will be always needed.

  6. Hospitals of the future will have a trauma center to treat emergencies and a centralized nanobot production area where doctors order batches of nanobots to perform procedures, such as killing cancer cells, mending bones, reattaching nerves, etc. Non-emergency surgery will be a thing of the past.

    TLDR: Nanobots will do everything.

  7. Many procedures require long stages of recovery and it can take a while to truly decipher what is wrong with a patient.

    So, how do you let the patient while away the long, boring-as-hell hours and ensure that the patient receives holistic treatment?

    INTRODUCING The Gene Genie Therapeutic Simulator! (As seen on Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes but without the need of dying and having a limbo experience!). Give the patient the choice of what world they want to simulate, hook them up to the Ultimate Virtual Reality Machine and let 'em go! It assists the patient deal with pain psychologically and provides them hours of entertainment in one of the loneliest environments known to man. Let your bored housewife in for a liver biopsy have fun on the farm or let your teenage brother kill a trillion zombies whilst re-cooperating from surgery to remove his appendix.

    Fun for all the family! Converse with other patients in a MMORPG! Fall in love! Make Farmville interesting by burning it down with your new found mate from Urology!


    With hidden challenges and NPCs, allow your patient to explore their psychological selves! Let your patient maintain their level of mental ability with fun challenges and logical tasks hidden in dragons and…stuff…


  8. Having had a family full of genetic heart defects, I found that the procedure and recovery of hear surgery was the most debilitating part of the whole process. An idea I've had for a while is a device that is kind of like a pace-maker, but when it kicks on it sends a small ping of ultrasound to a recording device in order for a specialist to judge ailments like arrhythmia, clots, and weakening walls preemptively before massive failure occurs.

    Am I allowed to post two? If not, take the first one, but my other idea would be to use my ultrasound idea into a sort of nano-technology idea where you can inject them into the blood stream and emit ultrasounds in order for a doctor to be able to see inside the body in real-rime, without the need of massive scanning machines where the patient has to be absolutely still.

  9. MAT – Medical Aptitude Therapy

    It's a mat that detects shifts in weight and movement, much like a Wii Board. It will come with a program that allows you to choose a preset goal for weight, balance, posture or any number of things. You can also set your own goals, if the preset (doctor recommended) goals do not satisfy.

    It could be used to help therapy patients (like my dad who has back trouble after falling off a crane and requiring surgery for his back) track progress through daily and regular therapy sessions, and even try a bit of self-therapy in their free time.

    All-in-all it's like the Swiss Army Knife for people looking to optimize their physical health.

  10. Hospital will not as needed,
    An Nano tube can be implanted somewhere on the body which can monitor the bodies activity and send back the information to the collective area, diagnosing on the go, with the ability to release small doses of medicine for the most common illnesses, and if there is more serious disease automatically sends the information to the health care centers which will send you the drugs necessary to heal it before you get the strong symptoms requiring to be sent to the prison, furthermore with this those with the implant will be able to be get greatly earlier diagnosed if they are diseases such as cancer.
    Therefore in the future hospitals will be a place with hundreds of monitors looking after patients from around the country with a rare few coming in for surgery and very serious treatment, which most are prevented from even entering needing this stage as there will be a lot more early diagnosis from this system.

  11. Hospital of the future…"There's an app for that"
    Not sure we will need a hospital, everyone will have an app on their smart phone that will diagnose, treat, and write Rx's. Things that need medical attention (broken bones, liver failure etc.) will be automatically flagged and the 'mobile' hospital will come to you (finding you via your GPS on your smart phone). Dr.s won't have offices and people will get to 'recover' in the comfort of their own homes!

  12. No offense but I'm pretty sure organ printing also exists and that I read an article about it recently from your page or TEDtalks.

  13. I think the idea of cloud technology will result in all areas of a person's digital life being recorded and tracked in a progressive file that builds their public identity. This identity file will include all medical history and any lifestyle choices or practices that might have an impact on the person's physical well being for reference. Thus, using any available communication technology or mobile device, when medical care is needed, the patient or person on the scene can relay care intentions and location to the nearest medical facility where the medical personnel on duty will be able to access the patient's entire file and begun triage before he or she even arrives. Also, at every entrance to all medical facilities, three dimensional bio scanners will produce and analyze incoming patients' vital functions and systems sending real-time data of an entire person's physical situation. This will put an end to all waiting rooms and wait time for medical services, thus allowing diagnosis time to be greatly reduced and treatment to become the main focus of all medical services. Using this technology, doctors in any medical facility will be able to have access to the full medical history of any patient that comes into their facility. This service will be made available to all citizens globally and will result in the effect elimination of most contagious diseases. This concept is surely worth a $100 gift card.

  14. Well for starters you could have nano-super bots as doctors who quorinteen and de-humidify humans so they are super clean when entering into their cybot dorms. these dorms would be equipt with a staff of two doctors and two nurses, each room would hold 4 people and would have a suply of medical equipment/food for three weeks. then evry three weeks the robots would grow more medicine in their ultra-clensing labs from micro protons. then one a patient is done with their stay they would pass through a tube which drops them slowly into a de-hydro bath and then they are alloud to leave.

  15. You left out the voice activated communication badges with computerized switchboard. Though I guess that is a today thing rather than the future.

  16. A Nano-Bug Injection. You first take a sample of a disease, whether it be the common cold, or a cancer cell, and you input that into the "Bug's" system. They are then programmed to search out that one type of cell, and when injected into the body, go on a mission to destroy it. They use such little power, that they can remain active inside the body for a week, and after that time period, are slowly dissolved by the body. This would allow for quicker cures for every-day ailments, and a much safer and less destructive treatment for cancers and other larger diseases.

  17. That's no hospital room! That's the set of the hit show "Get Immortal or Die Trying!" Let's take a tour of the set…

    #1 Each show starts with the contestant ingesting a mystery bottle of pills, what the pills do will always be different, but one thing will always be for sure, you'll be dead within 12 hours. Better Get Immortal, or Die Trying!

    #2 As the show progresses monitor the status of your new rapid growth clone, assuming you win the jackpot, this clone will last you for years to come.

    #3 What’s reality TV without social media? All episodes will stream live on the internet for worldwide entertainment. This handheld device will let the patient…I mean….contestant keep in constant communication with the fans via Facebook and Twitter.

    #4 This control panel will let the executive producer / Doctor determine what gene sequences are inserted into your new drone body. Would you like to be White, Black, Indian? Super genius, Super hero; make your choices by spending points accumulated during the show!

    #5 Watch as your new husk grows over a 12 hour accelerated cycle… Clones, they just grow up so fast, don't they?

    #6 Every 30 minutes, Host Ryan Seacrest will appear live (on screen) with some celebrity gossip triva from the past week. Each question right gets you DNA points, but each question wrong gets you another injection of this weeks mystery serum….oh noes! Save your life lines for the really hard ones!

    #7 IV pole…or weapon? You'll find out during the half time shows Physical Challenge!

    #8 Walking out is for winners, if you don't score enough DNA points to complete your clone, the Smart Bed will securely transport your body to the Looser Lounge (morgue)…and that's no fun!

    #9 GUESS….THAT….ORGAN!! We'll randomly start printing you new internal organs throughout the show. As the timer counts down, so does the reward for successfully guessing what it's going to be. Get it right within 1 minute, and receive bonus redundant organs in your new clone! Big celebration planned after the show? Make sure you know what a Liver looks like! amirite?!

    #10 The Renderer (booo), 3 wrong answers in a row gets a visit from THE RENDERER!! These mechanical wonder can actually remove your organs while you’re awake and fully conscious of what's going on! You don't want that do you?! No, of course not, so get those answers right!

    #11 Loosing organs and being pumped full of boxes and boxes of drugs can make you a little groggy, and that's no fun. Our neural stimulator will compensate by pumping a constant stream of serotonin into your brain to ensure a fun time is had by all!

    #12 The Mystery Cabinet. Whenever it's time for another drug, we'll let you pick randomly from the cabinet what you want! You’re the master of your own fate!

  18. Well, it goes without saying that every hospital and/or physicians' visit would involve a mandatory Colonoscoptomatic, a patient's seat that would automatically send a cable camera up the sitter's @ss for the purposes of reviewing any and all corner, crooks, and crevasses of one's lower & upper intestines, as well as a quick peek at current stomach contents. Nothing says "Nationalized Government Healthcare" more than a mandatory colonoscopy exam, co-sponsored with the IRS.

    And what about that crew of miniaturized surgeons who can be injected into your bloodstream to help positively affect the cure for any malady? If we're seriously going to head down that road, then I'd say — while they're in there — they should also have onboard their miniscule sub a whole team of plastic surgeons. That way — while you're having a tumor excised — you can also have your breasts augmented or your forehead raised or your Erectile Dysfunction cured with a penile implant.

    Of course, one has to keep in mind the current trend toward nationalization of healthcare, so the hospital of the future would have to install some kind of Mandatory Political Ideology Screenings, not at all unlike the Voyt-Kampf tests featured in Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER. You just know that a Conservative is not going to get the "best available healthcare" while a Democrat's serving the Presidency (nor vice versa, one could argue), so it would be important to establish a patient's current political leaning before administering any care whatsoever.

    We are, after all, an increasingly sick society. It's become 'all the rage' for new illnesses and phobias to demand greater legislative attention, and what sufferer doesn't love the chance to express his or her deepest darkest struggle to a willing listener of the mainstream media? However, why suffer just another predictable case of Carpul Tunnel Syndrome when you can have Individual Healthcare Advocacy Specialists tailor a newfound affliction all of your own? I'm not talking about "Lou Gehrig's Disease" if your name is Lou Gehrig. I'm talking about Future Democratic Party Constituent Syndrome. Or how about Workplace Screensaver Phobia Disorder? Or — if you don't like Aerosmith — why not have yourself legally declared a sufferer of Aerosmithitis? The hospital of the future should be able to furnish you with a comprehensive diagnosis that not only suits your healthcare needs but interfaces with your need for social acceptance; as such, ailments could be tailored to your specific lifestyle, thus putting your name up in lights.

  19. I think that nano-surgeons and healing blankets of nano-machines used to fast-clone skin replacements for burn victims would be cool. In addition, Medical transporters that could do incision-less surgery and remove tumors targeted in sensitive areas, like at the center of brain tissue, would be amazing.

    Also, the idea of a medical suite connected to a passive mri/xray/diagnostic system that could even sample the atmosphere around a patient to measure chemical levels they're emitting would be amazing.

  20. Sterilization "curtian" (beam, ray, etc.) in doorways so that germs on the skin and clothing are eliminated routinely and easily, minimizing complications from hospital-wise and doctor/visitor-borne infections and illnesses. (Yeah, I'm picturing the system on New New(?) Earth here, but a little cleaner and sleeker!)

  21. 1) Anti-OMG Im dying pills… cures everything except your bill blues
    2) Apple I-Doc… Just incase you need a second opinion
    3) Docspeak… Medical jibberish to English (or language of your choice) converter
    4) PSP Medical Edition… nurses meed something to do during those 12 hour labor sessions
    5) Emergency Baby-in-a-Jar… In case of pregnancy complications break glass
    6) Running bill meter… Displays how much the vist is costing you per minute
    7) IV Pole… made of recycled walker canes
    8) CMedBed… The first actual COMFORTABLE medical bed
    9) Sew-A-Brain… Complete brain stitching machine for transplants
    10) Magic-Droid Fingers… Droid programmed for chiropractic and massage… happy endings droids available for $20 extra
    11) BestBedHead… Been hospital bed ridden for days, no matter, look great with this hair product
    12) MiniMedBar… Just like in Vegas

  22. There's already an idea out in science fiction wherein a person could employ a surrogate to live one's life … well, why not have the hospital room of the future equipped with Surrogate Technology so that you could vicariously live out whatever ailment you've chosen to suffer? Say you want to see what's it like to live with cancer? Surrogate Technology can help you out! Now, you no longer have to say "I wish I could walk a mile in your shoes" because "you can walk a mile in their shoes"!

  23. The best change to implement in the hospitals of the future would be not a new form of tech but the oldest form of tech, reimagined. Thinking of hospitals as spaces it's hard to imagine anyplace less conducive to healing. Hospitals are cold, run down, impersonal places.

    I would hope that the hospital of tomorrow would resemble more a living greenhouse. Recovery rooms facing central atriums of old growth trees and climbing ivy. Hydroponic gardens growing fresh foods, genetically tailored to the nutritional and medical needs of each individual patient (think cancer drugs delivered via an apple as opposed to a pill). Responsive, organic walls that would alter their color and composition to sooth patients' stress. Healing pools of genetically tailored detox blends, made to speed the healing process and deliver nutrients.

    I would hope that the hospitals of tomorrow move away from the cold mass produced sanitation of the 1950s, and embrace natural processes, individualized and engineered with the best in nanotech and genetic engineering.

  24. Imagine an up to the second assurance/congratulations notification system. Everyone is going to say nanobots or nano this & that. That is too far away to get excited about. A system kind of like a restricted access medical Twitter would be great. No more scared relatives waiting five hours to find out grandma is okay. Important friends & family would access the website with your prior permission and be kept immediately up to date on your progress. With all of these new breakthroughs that help our physical self, we need one for the emotional self. CONGRATS *5:32 P.M. Smith family newborn delivered without complications. 14 inches long, 7 lbs, 4oz.* (Cue excited familial reactions.)

  25. AI surgeons, organ replacement, pft.

    Complete genetic personalization coupled with cloning capabilities will produce replacement bodies – download your memories into a fresh brain and meat bag that’s cancer/disease/whatever free. You’ll pay out the nose for it, and it’ll be mostly synthetic, but that will also mean upkeep will be easier to maintain. If you get sick you won’t need to fight to save your body, you’ll just pay for another one.

    Nano and bionic technologies will also be available to enhance your body, especially for performance issues.

    Massive trauma? Rebuild the body prior to the accident a la the organ printers.

    All expelled bodies wil be composted for energy to lower utility costs for the city.

    By this point, natural resources will be completely used up, so special synthetic nutrition pellets will be available to maintain your body.

    All we need to do is figure out how to transfer the electrical data that stores our personalities and memories.

  26. As you enter the hospital you fill out a quick form at registration, then go through a scanner, it takes a few seconds but quickly discovers anything that isn't right in your body, sends that information to the robo-pharmicist who quickly gets your shot prepared. You go to the next room, get your shot which will cure all your ailments within a short time, then you go to the exit where you pay your bill and go home good as new.

    For more major problems they will use nano-bots to repair broken bones, muscle tears, anything that currently requires surgery. Will take a few hours at most and you'll be home good as new.

  27. How about something like a black box in airplanes, but one for our bodies. It would have all our medical information in it including our family medical history, allergies (especially to medicines), emergency contacts, etc. What it should also do is be able to send vitals to a separate device that monitors heart rate, blood pressure and others so that EMT's could scan it when they arrive to an emergency. Finally, it should be able to give an approximate cause of death. I mean if it is obvious that a gunshot or some other trauma caused it, then that would not really be useful. But it may be able to say that the heart failed or another organ failed so doctors can infer as to the cause of death.

  28. Holographic image of the all mighty and powerful Steve Jobs asking for money for all the "i" infringements going on.

  29. nanobots that can remotely administer medicine to specific areas of the body. would be used for kemo treatments of cancer, and stop a majority of negative side effects) the nano bots would not be limited to kemo, but other medicines, and antibiotics. Nanobots would also repair cells, and detect harmful bacteria or virus in your system. they will also be able to monitor the body(heart rate, blood pressure, etc). besides from repairing cells they can aid in cell regeneration, and a increase the efficiency of the bodies natural functions like cell renewal, which will dramatically increase life expectancy well beyond 100. the nanobots can be introduced into the body through injection, or orally with a pill. nanobots have limitless possibilities besides the few i mentioned. right now i have no idea how they are going to work, but the nanotechnology field is unleashing new unthinkable possibly upon the world, and will allow use to do unimaginable things.

  30. Smartbeds –

    The gurney will be able to diagnose you on the way to your room; ordering treatment that will be waiting when you arrive.

  31. I am just finishing my Master's in Nursing Informatics, which is all about combining technology and medicine. We already have robotic surgery, telephonic health education and consultation for people with diabetes, as well as long-distance monitoring of blood pressure and blood sugar for people in their homes. Our hospitals use a hand-held scanner to scan the QR code on the medication and patient wristband for safety, as well as fingerprint-only access to controlled medications. The future of medicine holds real-time consultations by video chat (like the Sheldon-bot in Big Bang), physician orders being entered remotely by tablet, and a universal electronic health record for each person that has all their medical data from birth onwards encoded on a chip implanted in their hand. Research is currently being done on implanting retinal cameras in blind people, cochlear implants in deaf people, and prosthetics that are controlled by nerve impulses in the injury extremity. This is all happening right now, right here! I can't wait to be part of it all!

  32. My ideal hospital of the future wouldn't have lights on the ceiling. Whenever I've been wheeled down a hall on a gurney, going under the florescent lights every few feet was always enough to add a headache to whatever symptoms I already had.

  33. I think things are moving more and more to automated environments. For rich people, this means something akin to a medical isolation bed complete with lots of sensors and automated medical care – possibly robotic surgery in the future. For poor people it seems to be going more towards quick analysis by overworked, tired nurses, or grad students, followed by dispensing something. (Gee, maybe vending machines.)

  34. Ok, I'm going to make a suggestion that could be done today and could even be used as a small revenue stream for the hospital.
    An Ipad or similar easy to use tablet at each bed. It can only connect to the internet when docked (which recharges it and hooks it into a cable internet access) No bluetooth or WiFi capability
    Patient benefits
    1) Entertainment. Games to play, Internet to browse, A netflix style movie download
    replaces watching Day Time Soaps on a TV you get a neck strain to look at
    2) Outside access. Patient will be able to E-mail, Chat ect. Maybe even video conference for family and friends that can't visit
    3) Information. A patient can research and learn about what condition they have, thus
    they can make a more informed decision on their own treatment
    4) Paperwork. Forms can be filled out and signed electronically

  35. Hospital Benefits.
    1) A patient occupied playing Farmville isn't bored and complaining
    2) Less use of Cell phones, less radio frequency which can disturb medical scanners
    3) Less traffic, friends and family can “visit” using video chat, thus not exposing themselves to a hospital full of germs
    4) Doctors can upload pictures, Xrays, MRIS for the patient to see at bed side, even download literature for the patient to read about the illness or procedure
    5) Paperwork, same as above, but saves on paper waste and gives access to things like living Will or DNRs that a patient may not think of
    The hospital could defray the cost by charging for premium channels on the streaming TV, Banner Ads on the Web Browser
    And I'm sure Apple or Sony would love the universal exposure “Our Ipad is used at John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic” commercials on TV

  36. surgery rooms with video conference calls, so surgeons from across the world can operate on patients or give advice/help.

  37. They already do this with pets, so why not humans? ID chips that stores your medical history. I know when I goto a new doctor, I don't know when I got X shot, or when I last saw my eye doctor. If medical offices had a standardized machines that can scan and upload new information to said chip. It would also be helpful in medical emergencies, and aid with people who should be wearing medical ID.

  38. No hospital needed for most medical issues. Bio-samples examined by smart-bathroom. When issues arise, connect with doctor through bathroom mirror web-meeting and submit bio-sample findings.