Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider Electric partners Penn Medicine on IoT enabled Hospital

William Payne
September 18, 2018

Schneider Electric is working with PennFIRST, the integrated project delivery team building Philadelphia's new $1.5 billion hospital on the Penn Campus for the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine). Schneider Electric is working with PennFIRST to incorporate clinical and healthcare specific smart building technology for power and building management systems. 

According to Schneider Electric, EcoStruxure for Healthcare, an IoT-enabled digital hospital architecture, will help Penn Medicine reduce costs, optimise energy use, increase staff efficiency and more, long into the future. 

As part of the Integrated Project Delivery process, the PennFIRST team selected Schneider Electric as the key trade subcontractor (KTS) for low voltage integration and building management systems. Schneider Electric will join the existing PennFIRST team, which includes several other trade contractor partners, Penn Medicine as owner, Foster+Partners and HDR as architectural designers, BR+A for engineering design and Balfour Beatty and L.F. Driscoll for construction management.  

To serve the evolving needs of patient comfort and satisfaction and to ensure clinicians can provide the latest treatments and patient care techniques, Penn Medicine needed to expand their facilities. Penn Medicine's new Pavilion will provide a new clinical facility adding approximately 500 new beds, a relocated emergency department, and 47 operating and procedure rooms. Construction of the Pavilion began in September 2016 and will progress through early 2021, with occupancy projected later in 2021.

This is one of the largest projects on the East Coast to design and build through a Lean Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approach. In a traditional design and construction approach, each firm works on their respective project role and scope separately and linearly. In contrast, in IPD, the team works side by side from the beginning of the design process. With incentive through a shared profit model, the resulting collaboration saves time and money through innovation and solves challenges in real time.

Schneider Electric's team has a strong existing relationship with Penn Medicine, having worked with the healthcare system for over 15 years. Schneider Electric's power management systems allow Penn Medicine to ensure that their power distribution network is running efficiently. This includes reducing the number and duration of unplanned power outages, reducing energy consumption, reducing unplanned maintenance, optimising the loading of key equipment, and ensuring regulatory compliance with reporting and tracking on power systems and availability, all while ensuring patient safety and satisfaction. 

Now as a KTS, Schneider Electric will continue to work with the PennFIRST team to configure and evaluate the low voltage systems and use cases that leverage EcoStruxure for Healthcare as the technology backbone in the patient room for clinical and patient value. One example of a use case is Schneider Electric's Clinical Environment Optimisation solution, which saves energy by automatically adjusting room conditions based on occupancy information and allows patients to ensure that they are comfortable by setting their room temperature through the patient room control mobile app. These savings can then be used to address maintenance backlogs, and for investing in patient care initiatives.

"Schneider Electric is highly focused on the healthcare market and has provided state-of-the-art energy management, power management, clinical environment optimisation, and security management systems to multiple leading healthcare facilities," said Jim Sandelin, senior vice president at Schneider Electric. "Building upon the existing trusted relationship of the Square D team with the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Medicine teams, we are proud to assist Penn Medicine to integrate the latest, most advanced energy-saving technologies and techniques to remain on the cutting edge of patient care and develop the hospital of the future."