IOT: Powering the digital economy

The innovative technology transforming the way hospitals care for patients

The tech transforming the way hospitals care for patients

From births to end of life care, some of life's most momentous events take place in hospitals.

Philadelphia is home to Pennsylvania Hospital, one of the most historic in the U.S. Founded in 1751 by Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Bond, a doctor, the site today has over 500 beds and is a major hub for clinical research and teaching.

Pennsylvania Hospital is part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System. Soon, the university will be home to an innovative new hospital with 500 private patient and 47 operating rooms across 1.5 million square feet of space. The Pavilion, as the facility will be known, is due to open in 2021, and ambitions are big.

"Historically, hospitals have been organized around departments, so you had a department of cardiology, you had a department of open heart surgery, you had a radiology department," Kevin Mahoney, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, told CNBC's Nadine Dereza in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

"We're trying to blur those so there's no ownership of a department and the only ownership rests with the patient," he said. "How do we make that patient better as fast as we can, as effective as we can. And we know we can do that by blurring the department lines and having people work side by side."

The 17-story site will be home to a range of innovative features, with the design process incorporating technology. A 30,000 square foot mock-up of the new facility was built, with over 600 employees given the opportunity to tour it and offer feedback on what they did and did not like.

"We put GoPro cameras throughout the site and we had people walk through, and then we analyzed those 100 hours," Mahoney said. "The architects and the designers were able to pick up things that you may not have seen when you're just going through a facility, but when you looked at the video over and over again you would notice the way you're going around the corner, the way you're interacting as you enter the room with the patient… things like that."

The hospital will make use of telemedicine technology, which will enable remote monitoring and consultations. The university said that this in room tech would help to "strengthen communication between patients, families, and care teams."

Regarding the patient experience, Mahoney said he had "pushed really hard that the root word for hospitality is hospital… everyone says let's go look at other hospitals. I said let's go look at other hotels."

A key aim was making sure the patient's experience was not "institutional," he said.

Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.