From the CEO: Building Better Health

Blog | October 6, 2020

The pandemic has made us reassess the way we think about health care. As the world adapts to new health and social protocols, we’re also rethinking how medical spaces are designed and utilized. The health care system requires fast and innovative solutions for patient testing, treatment, and quarantine protocols.

Modular companies have already risen to the challenge. As health care providers race to find spaces to treat COVID-19 patients, our industry realizes that modular units, not initially earmarked for health care, can be adapted for medical use. These structures can serve as supplementary units to treat patients with low-acuity conditions (i.e. those requiring less attention by physicians) and keep them sequestered from main hospital emergency rooms.

The concept of portable hospital facilities is nothing new. If you’ve watched “M*A*S*H” reruns, you may have forgotten the title stands for “Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals.” These operating rooms, offices, and barracks were mobilized as needed during the Korean War. We also see the term “pop-up” borrowed from the retail and restaurant sector to describe medical buildings that show up virtually overnight. But beyond these short-term solutions, there is a need for more permanent hospitals and health care facilities.

Long-term care

Historically, modular construction was used to build additions to existing medical facilities. Prefabricated units now account for a larger share of new hospital construction. Thanks to emerging technologies, we can create different patient care facilities within one volumetric module, which can be used to create several other hospital rooms or patient care facilities. These modules utilize a plug-and-play configuration, and when transported from the factory to the site, are connected by a mechanical, plumbing, and electrical services team. It’s essentially a turnkey solution for the health care system. In the U.S., EIR Healthcare offers a “smart hospital room in a box” which can be delivered to an installation site already 90% complete. Once installed, they’re able to provide high quality, cost-effective medical solutions.

I am excited about the potential of these volumetric modules in Canada, especially in remote and indigenous communities. Our focus is to provide high-quality and cost-effective medical and dental facilities to these high-needs areas. We can provide health authorities with flexible and versatile solutions to select configurable pod-type designs, which are then configured onto a foundation to create the final structure. When designed in advance, that space may begin as a medical facility but is later converted into, for example, seniors housing. A significant component of senior homes is medical care (e.g. the use of Medigas) and safety, so repurposing and retrofitting these structures would involve a simple upgrade.

Modular Health Care Facility Interior Rendering (from Nomodic digital component construction partner Falkbuilt)

As our health care challenges grow, modular has proven it can quickly and efficiently address the needs without sacrificing quality and durability. At Nomodic, we have all the tools to create an efficient “production line”  that can service a massive country like Canada. We are eager to align with governments to provide cost-effective solutions that contribute to the health and well-being of our communities.

– Kevin Read, Nomodic President and CEO

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