It is the era of IoT, artificial intelligence, automation, the blockchain, virtual reality and digital innovation. With these technologies penetrating in every sector of urban lifestyle, the healthcare industry is no exception. The healthcare industry in the US is witnessing a revolutionary phase. The digital technologies are enhancing healthcare system efforts to shift to new models that are based on patient-centred care. Therefore, smart healthcare approaches are moving in order to enhance access and affordability, reduce costs, improve quality and accuracy, and patient experience.
While smart healthcare system is advancing in the US, the launch of the first smart medical district in Illinois is focusing on things that hinder the quality of life in the region.
Illinois Medical District (IMD) And Ignite Cities Endeavour
The Illinois Medical District (IMD) and Ignite Cities are launching a smart medical district which is believed to be the first-of-its-kind in the United States. IMD will work in collaboration with Ignite that supports the development of connected cities.
Ignite Cities is a global consulting firm that works to design and develop relationships with mayors, CIOs, and global technology firms. The main objective of this firm is to architect a connected city by placing people at the center of purpose. Ignite has developed a smart framework for the connected city space that can scale, replicate, and produce profits. As a result, the visible impact is experienced by people through citizen engagement, transformed infrastructure, and responsive city services.
The plan for the smart district is to develop a connected and intelligent solution to transform transportation, connectivity, and safety across the district. It aims at improving patient care by upgrading IT infrastructure and transportation system.
The planners spotted service disconnections that can be troublesome to the patients coming to receive medical care. Patients could be facing issues starting from transportation to parking and to amenities. Hence, the new smart medical district will solve these issues and ease some of those burdens on patients, as well as visitors, employees and students coming to the region.
Ignite Cities believes that when people, devices, and services are connecting with each other, the district-wide issues will begin to resolve. And, as more residents and visitors come to the IMD for educational purpose, or to receive the life-saving medical care, they will recognise the existing city infrastructure needs to develop.
Why IMD Is The Perfect Place To Build A Smart Medical District?
The Illinois Medical District spans across a 560-acre special use land located less than two miles west of downtown Chicago. It is the largest urban medical district in the United States with the most diverse patient population in the nation. It comprises an ecosystem that has sparked medical discoveries for over 70 decades. IMD is the national hub for medicine and innovation and that is the reason it has been recognised as the perfect place to build Chicago’s smart medical district.
The 560-acre land of IMD comprises four major hospitals, two medical universities, medical research facilities, a biotechnology business incubator, a raw development area and more than 40 healthcare related facilities. IMD has over 29,000 employees with 50,000 visitors received on a daily basis. This generates an economic opportunity of $3.4 billion.
The major hospitals of IMD include the Jesse Brown VA Medical Centre, The John H.Stroger, Jr., Hospital of Cook County, Rush University Medical Centre and The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.
The Biotech Growth
IMD is globally recognised as one of the most prominent centres for biotech innovation. It has been developing innovative solutions that improve the health of people and our natural environment. As venture funding is increasing and about 15,500 enterprises are within a one-hour flight ride of Chicago, IMD is seen as a hotspot for companies looking to attract capital and thrive.
Diverse Patient Population
The IMD is known for the country’s most robust and diverse patient populations, in relation to the four major hospitals located inside. The IMD encourages its partners to join forces and share the knowledge which can improve patient care, utilisation of resources and more importantly, patient outcomes.
The IMD consists of two Chicago Transit Authority Lines (CTA) and seven bus routes that transport 82,000 people throughout the region, per week. Additionally, the region is easily accessible via the I-290 freeway and multiple Divvy bike-share stations with protected bike lanes.
Master Plan For The Smart Medical District
The master plan of the smart medical district in the IMD involves improving accessibility for patients, visitors and employees. This will be done by introducing high-speed fibre Internet and a circulator shuttle that will provide convenient transit throughout the district. In the point fact, the IMD is already connected to a world-class smart city Chicago and global organisations found there. Hence, it always has access to world-class services.
Furthermore, the partnership between IMD and Ignite Cities will work to upgrade the telecommunications infrastructure in the district. This will include working closely with telecom companies to lay additional fibre optic cable, introduce 5G cellular infrastructure and expand the public WiFi service.
In addition, the smart medical district will also have digital kiosks and intelligent lighting which are integral elements of a smart city environment. So, together, the Smart District will be able to create new revenue share opportunities, sustainable urban space, connectivity, and scalable services. Ultimately, this will enhance the quality of life for citizens throughout the region.
The IMD will leverage from it’s public and private partnerships and global technology deployments to deliver the best possible digital services.
With the four major hospitals, world-class research centres and universities, the IMD is well-positioned to become the world’s next-generation health innovation destination. The IMD benefits from these assets to promote economic advancement on Chicago’s West Side by supporting healthcare, research, programme and technology development initiatives.
The Gateway Development
The Gateway is a 9.5-acre mixed-use development at the junction of Damen and Harrison. It is an integral part of the smart medical district plan with a range of amenities available for the people. The Gateway is preparing to become an economic incentive for the IMD and the west side.
The construction is already advancing with a range of amenities including retail, offices, labs, hotel, and residential space. The first phase of the construction which includes retail and amenity space is expected to compete in fall 2019.
Besides, a new 9-storey building at the corner of Polk Street and Damen Avenue in Chicago is being built for patients. It will replace the Fantus Clinic which was demolished last year. Fantus Clinic served patients for approximately 60 decades and was named after the Cook County Hospital Physician who was recognised for establishing the first blood bank in the United States in 1937.
Also, a new parking lot is being constructed on the Fantus Clinic site which will serve the patients and visitors coming to Stroger Hospital Emergency and Trauma departments.
The Smart Medical District is sure to inspire smart cities around the world with its world-class healthcare facilities. While the master plan of smart medical district revolves around providing better connectivity to citizens, the United States perception for healthcare is shifting from treating illness to focusing on wellness.