OR4.0 – Operating Room 4.0

OR4.0 – Operating Room 4.0




Healthcare expenditure represents on average 8.3% of European GDP. As highly complex organisations, typically with thousands of employees and hundreds of admissions and operations performed every day, hospitals represent an approximate staggering 60% of total healthcare spending. A large hospital can conduct more than 50,000 surgical interventions every year and spend over 100 million euros on the operational costs of the surgical process, which does not include investment in new and expensive equipment. Certainly, the surgical area represents the largest amount of hospital expenditure by far, from 20 to 40% of costs.

As incredible as it may seem, these large organisations are still managing the surgical process in an old-fashioned way. Surgical teams perform a multitude of repetitive tasks, entering many timestamps by hand while relying on stressful phone communication across hospital areas to manage patient flows. This results in delays, frustration and poor coordination between areas and teams (i.e., porters, wards, preparation, theatres, recovery, cleaning team) in time demanding constraints. Could you imagine an airport in the 21st century managing the air traffic of hundreds of flights every day, by hand? This rudimentary way of working results in frustrated professionals, and, in turn, it leads to chronic suboptimal functioning and a poor use of operating rooms, affecting hospitals globally.

MYSPHERA co-created and deployed a novel solution with Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona to automate patient flows across the surgical process. This innovation consists of two parts: 1) light hardware based on Bluetooth low energy wireless technology represented by two components – patient wristbands and gateways; 2) process orchestrator software and its real time applications.

The hardware is responsible of capturing patient locations in real time, enabling their concurrent tracking across the whole surgical journey. This data automation is leveraged by the process orchestrator software that uses it to engage professional teams with tailored applications that render timely information and tasks as patients move along the process. For the first time, the end-to-end process is reliably and automatically timestamped, opening new opportunities in understanding the real performance of the surgical area, which is currently working blindly with poor quality data and burdened professionals having to do this job. The combination of the new way of working and the opportunities of more accurate scheduling generated by the revealed data increased surgical activity beyond 12,5% in the surgical wing that implemented the new digital intervention. This is more than 1,000 new procedures in the same wing.

As a result, now the hospital has scaled the technology to the rest of its 4 surgical blocks with more than 50 operating theatres as well as implementing the same type of technology in the emergency department. Recently, the innovation has scaled-up to other countries including the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (UK), the Saint Joseph Group Hospitalier (France) and many others in Spain. Last but not least, this innovation has been granted with a renown EIC project called PATHMAKER to boost the scalability of the innovation. This project is expanding the scope of the solution to all the different areas of the hospital (i.e., surgical block, emergency department, outpatient clinics, etc.) and new global regions like the US. Currently, we are having discussions with the Mayo Clinic to pilot the service there.

The project is funding 7M€ for an internationalisation and 1.8 M€ to carrying on improving the solution.