Smart Hospital – how the University Hospital in Essen is shaping the future of medicine

I have often reported about the profound changes in medicine. About the use of new technologies, such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in medicine, until the chance is given by 3D printing a lot is going on. But hospitals are also facing far-reaching changes. They must face up to the digital change and seize new opportunities.

Especially topics such as the nursing crisis require innovative and novel approaches in order to provide the best possible medical care for hospital patients in the long term.


The first Smart Hospital in Germany (Source:


One clinic that stands out in this respect is the University Hospital in Essen. With the initiative “Smart Hospital” they want to show the future of medical care and show other hospitals the chances of digitalization. The idea of the networked “Smart Hospital” goes through all areas and brings with it new technologies as well as strategic changes.

The principle in Essen is to enable extensive networking and to introduce intelligent control systems that help patients and staff. Cross-sectoral measures and close cooperation with patients and doctors are creating new opportunities for medical care.

Whether automation in the search for files, nursing robots as support for the nurses or new technologies in the operating theatres, the “Smart Hospital” initiative is intended to relieve the burden on the employees in Essen and create new potential.

“With the “Smart Hospital” initiative, we want to achieve a real cultural change in the hospital system that will benefit employees significantly and optimize service for patients.”

According to the hospital, the transformation of the University Medicine Essen to a Smart Hospital is not an end in itself, but should follow clearly defined goals. All digital processes and technologies should always serve the well-being of patients, promote their healing and provide them with quick access to current research results. But the digitization project also focuses on the staff. Robotics and the new strategic and operative processes should provide improved working conditions and relieve the burden on nursing staff and doctors.

Since such a project also has to expect a lot of opposition, a steering committee was set up at an early stage, in which the most diverse professional groups work together and express concerns. Through constant evaluation of progress and open communication with all areas, corrections can always be made. Clinic trainers specially trained for the change also help to support the introduction of the new processes and familiarise colleagues with the new technologies.

The University Hospital is Essen is a role model in how to initiate change in such a complex sector as medicine, taking both patients and staff on a journey into the future of the hospital system.


Post picture: University Hospital Essen

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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