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Digital hospitals

Health institutions must now transform into digitalized organizations in accordance with the current technological change with agile connections, without delays and without interruptions. This is a fundamental part of the conception of a Green Hospital, making it essential to put aside the consumption of paper and similar.

It constitutes a challenge of adaptation, a process that incorporates technology into general hospital management. The current health model must make use of computer tools to guarantee care, coverage, and continuity of care, improving communication exchange and adapting available resources to the demands of its patients.

"Digital advances in health are a paradigm shift in current medicine."

Current problem

Historically, the use of paper and substitutes, whether for Medical Records, laboratory study reports, along with printing material for x-rays and other imaging studies, has been a very high fixed cost in the health sector budget. 

This goes hand in hand with another concept that has to do with saving this documentation. The word archive has great importance when we think of it as the physical space that institutions must allocate for these printed documents.

For the patient, something similar happens, there is a belief that chronic patients must have an excessive, but necessary, amount of printed material available every time they need to go to their doctor for a check-up or follow-up.

In industrialized countries, the DIGITALIZATION of hospital systems is a fact that, in the face of health emergencies, such as Covid 19, were able to guarantee the quantity and quality of the care required. We see the need for this model to be applied worldwide, with one more step, that of integration in each country between all health subsystems.

Any hospital should seek a digital transformation focused on reducing errors, increasing the quality of patient experience and care, optimizing personnel management and operations, and improving communication.

Advantages of a digital hospital

  • An improvement in the monitoring of patients, thanks to the higher amount of information

  • The development of a more accessible and equitable health system

  • The acquisition of healthier habits

  • Facilitation of better therapeutic decisions

  • Increases in productivity by approximately 20% and generates savings of 70% in the use of paper

  • Reducing the time required for procedures and consultations


Hospitals can integrate centralized electronic medical records with laboratory and radiological systems for easy accessibility to information for both doctors and patients in a secure manner.

"Digitalization allows the implementation of Telemedicine."

There are also added benefits for patients located in distant places or with limited access to healthcare as Telemedicine can benefit them by saving costs, and time, all while avoiding traveling long distances.

Other possible developments would be mobile health applications on cell phones, video games as educational resources, and intelligent accessories that collect data on the patient's health and physical condition.

The future we are heading towards

Hospitals need to evaluate the investment in modern technology, and the use of fiber optics in multipoint connections to serve multiple network users in a controlled and safe manner. Thus, it is feasible to integrate the medical history and treatment that a patient receives in any other health center, allowing us to adequately monitor it. The promotion of telecare and teleconsultation favors these processes, improving the hospital experience of patients and professionals. The combination of modern technology and optical transmission, in addition to enabling remote supervision of therapies, and remote monitoring of patients and medical procedures, makes the technological transformation process much more sustainable.


The acceleration in this digital transformation makes it easier to integrate diverse and intelligent technologies, improving the quality of the medical service we offer to the community.

The concept of Digital Health (applying computer and communication technologies to health) covers virtual and remote assistance, remote supervision, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and platforms with information storage in the health ecosystem.


The Digital Hospital is presented as a building connected through wiring systems that enhance technologies such as those already mentioned, encompassing networked subsystems in constant exchange and communication. They also have particular requirements aligned with international standards that must be met to guarantee continuity and trust, and must also be monitored and controlled locally and remotely. In this way, the Digital Hospital will be adjusted to this new era of data since a standard infrastructure is not enough.

illuminem Voices is a democratic space presenting the thoughts and opinions of leading Sustainability & Energy writers, their opinions do not necessarily represent those of illuminem.

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About the authors

Marcelo Fabian Saitta is a university specialist in pediatrics belonging to a team of doctors interested in the environment and its place in health.

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Laura Silvia Adduci is a university specialist in neurosurgery belonging to a team of doctors interested in the environment and its place in health.

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María Verónica Viñas Chacior is a university specialist in general surgery belonging to a team of doctors interested in the environment and its place in health.

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Dr. Diego Balverde is an economist with experience in climate finance. Diego is very active on the international sustainability stage having attended COP27 as a circular economy for climate change specialist and will also be attending the G20 Conference in India. 

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