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Long-term strategy and master plan for the construction and renewal of the world’s smartest hospital


One of the five University Hospitals in Finland, Oulu University Hospital (OYS) currently provides specialized medical care for 750,000 people. In what is currently the biggest building project in Northern Finland, the hospital aims to be fully redesigned, renovated, and rebuilt by 2030 to become the World’s Smartest Hospital through the integration of professionals in various fields including health care, hospital design, ICT solutions, engineering, and construction. This challenge calls for not only the design and construction of the new facilities, but also a comprehensive analysis of the ways a hospital operates and develops its functions.


Hospital planners from NHG and other organizations developed a long-term strategy, operational goals, and functional principles of a master plan for the construction and renewal of OYS. Functional principles and a master plan were prepared in cooperation with the management and personnel of the hospital. The joint work started with planning the renewal of operating models and the development of the Future Hospital concept, aimed at improving the productivity and effectiveness of the hospital’s operations. 

For example, future working space solutions will be constructed to improve productivity and the effectiveness of care. The renewed operations emphasize the joint coordination of functions and human, space, and equipment resources, as well as digital solutions. 

Specifically regarding the digital solutions, the projects and the needs of the new hospital were divided into seven target areas in accordance with the main lines of the technology vision. Six of the target areas focus on technology development sites and the seventh target area focuses on the needs of medical treatment and maintenance. NHG’s experts played a significant role in these target areas, with their teams participating both in the overall planning of the new hospital, and also in defining and executing its cutting-edge technology vision – in essence defining what kind of technology will best support operations for the new hospital.  

NHG’s deep experience in user-oriented design was crucial in determining what systems best serve the hospital’s patients, as well as what needs the nursing staff has in relation to information systems, relying, for example, on extensive end-user surveys. The technology vision’s purpose was to help concretize the opportunities in utilizing technology – and how future technological changes can be reflected in the hospital’s everyday operations. 

Based on the plans made and with advice from NHG, OYS started making technology procurements that would provide the best solutions for the new hospital. NHG’s solid understanding of the industry players and experiences from other projects meant they knew how to move things forward. NHG presented the client with different options, along with the pros and cons of each – a way of working that supported effective decision-making. Because NHG had extensive experience in this sort of process from a number of earlier projects, they were able to offer extensive insights to support the decision-making process.


The implementation of the new hospital is today in progress. The hospital’s construction work is already well underway and implementing the technology vision is gradually being achieved. 

NHG’s leadership and insights have ensured that the technologies selected will be harnessed to serve its purpose since their actual usability is what proves its true benefits. Smart technology doesn’t just mean great devices, but technology that leads to effective, smart, and cost-effective operation.  

Related to this, when building the world’s smartest hospital, NHG has emphasized how essential it is that the chosen smart technology be properly introduced to the hospital’s staff and customers. Put simply, in everything NHG proposed, the functional needs must come first. 

To date, the cooperation between OYS and NHG has gone well. The successful journey side by side will continue through the construction and commissioning of the new OYS. For the experts at NHG, large development programs like this are welcome opportunities to help the customer in a versatile way. From planning to implementation and commissioning, NHG ensures that its customers get the best solutions.