Studies analysing the unparalleled spread of Novel CoronaVirus in Italy has pointed out that the infection spread from clinics when most of the infected persons thought it to be a common flu and flocked to get them tested. The overcrowded diagnostic departments spread the virus among the staff, the visitors, and other families of the patients.
Recent studies have pointed out that diagnostic facilities can play a direct role in spreading infections and contaminations. In fact, in Italy, in an unprecedented turn of events the diagnostic facilities became the epicenter of spread of the pandemic before it took over the entire European continent.
This turn of events has questioned the functionality of the diagnostic facilities. And a novel concept of speciality clinics has surfaced in recent times.
Specialty clinics: Need of the hour
Although the design of the hospitals has always been a separate topic for the planning and architecture students, the pandemic has pointed out the importance of architecture in spreading infections too.
The hospital architecture in the West is already reinventing the traditional concept of a “temporary stay for the sick”. They’re incorporating sustainability, natural light, mental wellness, and free movement in their designs.
But usually the clinics and diagnostic facilities are ignored when chief pillars of healthcare are counted. Despite the fact that diagnostic facilities are frequented by the patients, sample collectors, specialists, and other visitors, they are always overlooked by the healthcare regulatory bodies. But now the aces of urban architecture and healthcare professionals are working on a new concept of “healthcare architecture AKA speciality clinics”.
They are keeping the design and architecture as a central theme in their construction. They are building sustainable, environment-friendly, spacious and technically advanced diagnostic clinics. These clinics will visibly reduce the TAT (turn around time) for the test results so that the clinics are not crowded.
Healthcare architecture : A boon for India
Unlike Europe and other continents of the West, India is acutely space-challenged and building spacious clinics can skyrocket the budget. This will also influence the cost of diagnosis and monitoring. And it will become a burden for the impoverished classes of the society.
This is where the importance of architecture arises. The Indian architecture and healthcare professionals are brainstorming to utilize every inch of the space while guaranteeing minimum human contact whilst entering, waiting, and exiting (the laboratory facility).
This is triggering employment of technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Novel architectural design of diagnostics
The new architectural plan of the diagnostic facilities ensures that the exit and entrance of the diagnostic facilities should be separated with different lanes so that human contact can be minimised. And even the samples are safe from undesired human contact.
The diagnostic centers will come equipped with portable micro labs. This will minimise the storage space, incubation period, TAT and avoid crowds at the diagnostic centers as the labs can be carried to the location of the patients. These healthcare diagnostics are employing AI to monitor the footfall and control repetitive tasks. This will ensure an economical way of diagnosis and monitoring that will aid the lower strata of the society. As they’re more vulnerable to diseases and infections due to poor sanitary hygiene.
In a way, this will not only curb the spread of infection but also help to sustain the economy via providing rapid and efficient diagnosis.