Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Healthcare / Innovation

European Healthcare Design 2018

Intensive care unit design in 2050: merging the future with the present

By Neil Halpern 23 Oct 2018 0

This presentation explores futuristic intensive care unit (ICU) design with a view to how it may look in 2050. It focuses on various approaches to futuristic innovations and looks at new technologies that are seemingly way beyond today’s capabilities. These technologies will include a mixture of iterative improvements, as well as marked transformative changes.

Download the slides for this video presentation


As we introduce each new technology, we’ll explore their current stages of development. The main technology of ICU care will be a bio-spheric capsule. In this capsule, online holographic intensivists direct care, working with local providers and the ‘Worldwide Critical Care Diagnostics and Therapeutics Center’.

This centre contains the sum of all critical care experiential and academic knowledge, and is managed with arti cial intelligence and advanced computer-based learning. The biosphere monitors not only its own environment but also the patient’s, as well using advanced sensors with surface and deep organ-based diagnostic capabilities.

A helmet/visor provides bidirectional neurological and psychological evaluation and care using software. This transforms the patient’s thoughts and communicates them to the caregivers, and concomitantly allows the insertion of digital communications and psychological therapies to prevent, diagnose and treat ICU psychological syndromes. Additionally, the helmet will permit distant visitors to visit digitally with virtual human-touch capabilities.

The biosphere contains a multi-modality platform with on-board organ and system-based diagnostics, imaging, therapeutics, infection control, and environmental management systems. Tissue and fluids are virtually sampled; 3D printers generate implantable devices and exoskeletons to provide mobility. Mini-robots handle diagnostics and therapeutics that cannot be addressed virtually. Finally, the capsule provides cryogenic capabilities for long-term preservation of patients for whom therapeutics are not yet available.