The natural world around us is complex, filled with millions of species of plants and animals. Within it there are some remarkable examples of intelligence.

Animals such as orangutans, dolphins, elephants, pigs and even rats have proven they are smart enough to learn and adapt to the changing environment around them. Hospitals are complex too! But are they intelligent enough to learn and adapt?

A typical hospital building is filled with medical and other professional staff as well as specialist equipment to deliver medical, nursing and related services to sick patients. Emergency, outpatient and inpatient care is provided, treating patients from admission to discharge. Hundreds of systems, processes, and workflows all work together to keep a hospital running.

Surrounding the hospital, healthcare is in the middle of an affordability crisis. The modern day diet and lifestyle is unhealthy, leading to growth in chronic conditions and diseases. Most countries have aging populations. The broader healthcare ecosystem is fragmented and mostly reactive in nature, caring for people when they get sick. It is not sustainable and hospitals, public and private, have an increasingly critical role to play in addressing the crisis.

Technology is also changing how hospitals work – everything is going digital! We are witnessing an explosion of smart, connected devices that is generating huge amounts of health data.

The best hospitals will be agile organisations that can adapt and keep up with the fast-changing world around us. By treating data as an asset, capturing as much relevant data as possible and applying machine learning to it, hospitals are finally going to get smarter.