Healthcare as we know it is undergoing a massive transformation.
We’re seeing changes that will radically impact you and me at every level, from friends and family members to our communities and the broader ecosystems we inhabit.
Before we get into it, let’s look the reasons for this change. Over the last decade, a few factors have sparked this new wave of healthcare trends.
Some of these factors include:
- Pressure from consumers and patient
- Advances in consumer technology
- Trends and patterns in the healthcare marketplace
- Scientific and sociological breakthroughs
What we’re talking about here is a completely new way to think about health in our daily lives. Instead of focusing simply on sick-care, the “new school” bridges gaps between health, medication, nutrition, stress management, mobile services, smart homes and behavioral change. It blends health, wellness and lifestyle to form a more consumer-first mentality, while enabling health-and-wellness companies to meet consumers where they are.
So, what does this mean for architecture?
Architects have an exciting opportunity to lead this adventure into wellness, to dive headfirst into designing the green, consumer-centric spaces of tomorrow that we’re imagining. After all, the changes we’re seeing now will permeate every aspect of our profession in the future.
It starts with wellness.
The term wellness is generally defined as a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit. Today, it’s evolved into an entirely new healthcare model that focuses on lifestyle-oriented and preventative approaches to health.
Designers are merging architectural best practices with evidence-based health and wellness interventions. Things like the new WELL building standard (certified by the GBCI), works harmoniously with the LEED Green Building Rating System, the Living Building Challenge, and other green building standards. These are just a few of the many ways in which design and health are coalescing in the built environment.
Wellness can be complicated.
In the coming months, we’ll be talking about what all of this means for us as architects. We’ll examine how people’s health is affected by these changes as well as the benefits of incorporating wellness not just into our buildings, but also our planet’s fragile ecosystem.