Alliance between industrial design and hospital architecture

The advancement of ICTs in the health sector has impacted – and continues to impact – the ways of planning, designing and recycling the hospital space.

The advancement of ICTs in the health sector has impacted – and continues to impact in different ways – the ways of planning, designing and recycling the hospital space. All types of equipment, combined with new technologies implemented in intensive care rooms and laboratories, influence the changes that have been generated and generated in the architecture of medical centers.
The materials and production processes of the equipment, meanwhile, seek to reinforce essential pillars such as safety, simplicity in use and maintenance while promoting a prolonged life of the equipment. Also, the integration and modularity in devices is another of the great advances.
Undoubtedly, industrial design plays a major role in the study of how to couple the new technologies in hospital spaces. Ergonomics, interaction design and usability thus become the new paradigm of work for women’s healthcare. At the same time, contemplating the greater number of actors involved and taking advantage of the physical space allow to offer the patient a better experience of comfort .
Between technology and design
While improving the work practices of health professionals was transformed into the premise of hospital design, planning luminous, ecological and domotic spaces also has the function of reducing the negative impact it generates on the patient and The family, for example, an internment. (See box: “Projects and projections”). In this way, both technological convergence and cultural changes became a trend at the national, regional and international levels.
The growing demand and dynamics of change led to the rethinking of flexible spaces so that they can adapt to new technologies. In addition, the complexity produced by the incorporation of functions, surfaces and equipment led many institutions to examine their vision through a strategic plan that would allow them to fulfill their mission by programming a master plan that contemplates spatial reorganization.
At present, the health sector is, for Rita Comando, Vice President of the Argentine Association of Architecture and Hospital Engineering “a range of contrasts regarding the characteristics, quantity, accessibility and quality of its physical and technological resources”. Likewise – for the architect – this disparity “commits us to rethink what the best responses are to the growing needs and demands of the population, since, he specified, these are not always synonyms.”
The solutions should be considered taking into account the scarcity of resources and, furthermore, that “greater investment does not necessarily mean better management and better quality of life,” explained Comando. Therefore, to maintain its space, functional and technical validity, the challenges involve:
1. The adaptation of health buildings to changes in institutions.

2. The incorporation of technological and management innovations.

3. Rationalization and flexibilization of physical spaces.

4. Coordination of interdisciplinary work teams.

5. The systematization of control and allocation of resources.
Therefore, Comando concluded that “the incorporation of technology alone does not guarantee a better health care and if health facilities want to stay and grow in the market must work on the areas responsible for their final products and their areas of support for”.