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In the latest in our healthcare series, Dave Philp, our Chief Value Officer, explains how a digital approach to the healthcare estate can drive efficiency, reliability and better healthcare outcomes. 

At London’s Imperial College, a virtual copy is being made of that most important piece of equipment – the human heart.

An interdisciplinary team of engineers, clinicians, computational statisticians and researchers are designing and building fully accurate, digital twins, of the hearts of a group of chronically ill patients. Continuously updated over time, they hope the twin hearts will allow them to precisely track changes to each patient’s disease progression, enable personalised predictions and deepen knowledge of how their patients’ hearts work.

The bold project provides the latest example of how new technologies are being applied across healthcare delivery to aid patient care, reduce inefficiencies and respond to intensifying pressures.

That potential applies to all aspects of the healthcare system – including to the hospitals and medical facilities whose condition and ability to perform well is so closely intertwined to patient outcomes.

Ensuring those facilities are in peak condition, reliable and ready when required, depends upon a cyber physical approach to connect, and contextualise, often in real time, the data about the healthcare asset (fabric, critical systems etc) with its physical counterpart. This concept is today widely known as the “Digital Estate.”

The Digital Estate describes all the healthcare-built infrastructure, data and information that enables the healthcare asset to function.  Like the physical estate (i.e. the buildings, their systems, equipment and spaces around them), the digital estate must work for the healthcare professionals and building users who use it. It must be trustworthy, secure and adapt to changing requirements.  And it needs staff to build it, run it and look after it – just as a physical hospital does.

The digital estate needs staff to build it, run it and look after it – just as a physical hospital does."

Digital – driving better healthcare assets

The concept of a Digital Estate supports the wider drive towards a modern and digitised healthcare strategy.

It recognises the benefits of joined-up data and information which is as fundamental to supporting asset performance management and asset management as it is to supporting patient outcomes (Last year, Sir Chris Whitty said that integrated health data could advance “transformational” medical research).

At the heart of the digital estate is an ecosystem with the ability to search, unify, visualise (at a campus level) and analyse, asset data and information. Having this ability at an enterprise level will support optimisation of healthcare owner and operators’ asset management strategies and management plans, allowing them to use those assets more productively, with higher levels of reliability.

Simply put, a Digital Estate enables a golden thread of connected data across a healthcare portfolio or campus. It is both a technology, a Connected Common Data Environment (C-CDE) and a process supporting a consistent, integrated and repeatable methodology for curating and managing information about physical healthcare assets in a digital environment.

This on-demand access to joined-up data on critical healthcare systems, equipment and business intelligence will inform better decision making and ensure healthcare infrastructure can function efficiently and safely. The Digital Estate helps answer the question “how can we get better outcomes from our existing infrastructure?”

The Digital Estate and its connected data ecosystem can also support the move to a digital twin – with a reliable digital representation of your physical healthcare infrastructure –  just like the virtual twin of the hearts I referenced at UCL.

Our digital twin solution at Cohesive mirrors real world assets. It connects to Asset Information Systems and integrates with 3D model Geometry, Geospatial Data, Drawings & Documents, Survey Data & Photogrammetry.  This can be built upon with integrations.

Digital technologies are impacting every aspect of healthcare delivery – and whether in the human infrastructure of the heart, or in our healthcare facilities and buildings, the potential needs to be grasped.

For more information on how we can support you to build a digital estate and to manage your healthcare assets more effectively, please supply brief details below and one of our team will get in touch:


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