Bold Technological Innovations Are Transforming Hospitals and O.R.'s

According to the healthcare industry blog, Startechup, a cutting-edge digital product development company that partners with the most innovative companies in the world to create custom software solutions that drive business growth, in it’s February 3, 2023 edition, “The future of healthcare is definitely looking hi-tech. It’s important to stay informed about any technological advancements.  Organizations and stakeholders should also keep an eye on new tools and technologies that promise more accurate and expansive care.”

Medical device manufacturers, especially, need to constantly keep their “eyes on the prize.”  Hospitals and healthcare professionals rely on all of us to be more sensitive to their changing needs and, thus, to make a more concentrated commitment to fueling R&D.  When we offer them new technologies and systems that work better, offer better safety and security and help them deliver superior results…everybody wins: the device manufacturers, the hospitals and their staffs and, most of all, the patients themselves.  It is vital that we maintain clear ongoing communications with our customers, so that we can be more responsive in a timely and targeted fashion.

A variety of technology trends will shape the future of healthcare from 2023 and into the future.  These include: AI-infused technology, which is already speeding up the diagnosis process and in the development of better robotic systems, and IoMT (internet of medical things), which establishes a network of connected medical devices that are integrated with computing systems.

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to concentrate on three key areas.

1. Integrated Operating Rooms

According to a Nov., 2021 article from Steris, a leading global provider of products and services that support patient care, “Hospitals continue to design operating rooms with a focus on greater functionality and improved patient comfort. A concept that is shaping the O.R. design of the present and future for hospital staff is the integrated operating room. O.R. integration connects technology, information and personnel throughout the hospital. Due to the emergence of advanced diagnostic and imaging technology, the operating room has become increasingly congested and complex with a multitude of OR devices and monitors.”

Here at Steute we have devoted our world-renowned R&D Department to addressing this escalating problem. We currently are developing O.R. Net, a dramatic new technology that will allow a single foot switch to control multiple medical devices from a single user interface.  No other product in this category will be able to provide the enhanced safety and security your customers want in what were traditionally cluttered O.R. environments.

2. Touchless Controls

In a July, 2021 article from BrainLab, global developer of software and hardware devices for better digital medical technology, “With new, touchless methods of software control being developed for every day devices, the future of the O.R. will also offer the surgical team new ways of interacting with devices and software. Offering the surgeon the possibility to control devices and software without having to leave this field, keeping their hands free to operate on the patient, will have a huge impact on outcomes and patient safety. In the near future, touchless solutions like gesture recognition, eye tracking and speech control, will enter the O.R.”

In view of this trend, Steute is now evaluating the benefits of voice control, gesture control, touch control and control by eye movement (eye tracking) and is developing a unique innovation called OPtimal. This will provide the best multi-modal operation, ie: “task sharing” between foot and voice control, also enhancing a more integrated O.R.

3. 5G

In a review published in March, 2023, by NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), “The use of 5G networks in healthcare has increased in recent years, and their applications have been supported by advancements in the internet of things, artificial intelligence and robotics, which can change healthcare systems into a new connected ecosystem. When compared to other connectivity solutions 5G technology provides security, increased capacity for the number of connected devices per square kilometer, greater service reliability and mobility.

Via our KliNet5G program, we, at Steute, have made a substantial commitment to researching the use of 5G and low energy sensors within the computer network to better locate the controlling devices as well as the devices to be controlled everywhere on the hospital grounds.

The medical device manufacturers who will end up on top in the future will be the ones who use R&D and technological breakthroughs to improve their product and service offerings to their healthcare clients.  The systems you provide to hospitals and O.R’s today can quickly become obsolete tomorrow.  Conditions, especially in the O.R., can present daunting challenges, whether it be in terms of safety, security, performance or outcomes. Constant innovation is the key to ongoing success.

For over 30 years, Steute has remained the recognized world leader in medical-grade footswitch technology… one innovation after another.  This article contains but three examples of the ongoing body of research we are conducting. Visit our website at and select the Innovation tab to see several more examples of the technological breakthroughs that are coming your way. We are, first and foremost, a technology company, not just a foot switch company.  We encourage others to consult with us, because the better we do, the better we’ll all do together.