Healthcare has traditionally centered around the bricks and mortar of a hospital, a physical space where doctor and patient interact. But that has changed: healthcare is transforming into a system no longer defined by physical space. The practice of medicine has changed in a relative short time from a system where the exchange of information went mainly through personal, physical interactions with patients and colleagues, to a system that is dominated by information technology.
The doctor-patient interaction most commonly takes place in the Consultation Room (Spreekkamer in Dutch). Whatever the complaint, wherever the location, be it the GP’s office, the hospital, an out-patient clinic, an emergency room, the interaction is within the domain of the so-called Consultation Room. Not much has changed in the consulting room in the last decades. The only ‘innovation’, namely the arrival of a computer in the room, sometimes has the unfavorable by-effect that the communication between the patient and the specialist competes with the computer screen and keyboard. However, since the introduction of the computer many more new technologies have been launched. For example, already speech can be used as input for obtaining information from the web resulting in an answer in spoken text, as is currently the reality in many households with chatbots such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.
However, not only new ways to consult the web, but also many other new technologies are available and are currently under development, like the use of virtual reality, speech to speech translation, augmented reality, AI decision support, digital personal assistants. These developments offer new opportunities to support all the processes in the consulting room of which communication between doctor and patient is only one element), and maybe even trigger to extend the processes of the current situation, like offering extra services to the patient outside the consulting room.
The Consultation Room 2030 is a joint project of TU Delft, Erasmus Medical Center and Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management to explore how the future of healthcare will change in the coming years.
The Consultation Room 2030 project is always interested in expanding, whether you are a researcher, industry partner or clinical institution, don’t hesitate to contact us.