ICU of the Future


Revolutionising Intensive Care Units

A world-first project revolutionising Intensive Care Units for patients and their families.

It all started when a group of senior clinicians from The Prince Charles Hospital Critical Care Research Group gathered and started discussing how they could improve the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) environment. While we acknowledged the quality of care provided and that the survival rates in Australian lCUs were exceptional, we had started realising the quality of life after survival could be better for a large percentage of patients.

After an ICU admission, up to...


of ICU patients will experience cognitive problems (including delirium) or mental trauma during or after their admission.


of families make major life adjustments to support a patient, including moving home or depleting their savings.


of family members can have symptoms of anxiety, and up to 50% have PTSD symptoms.

Source: ICU of the Future Prototype, Critical Care Research Group

How we’re transforming the ICU environment

Through patient, family and staff consultation and feedback, we were able to identify the key drivers for distress.

Following this, we addressed these drivers through technology, international innovation, and thinking outside of the traditional critical care landscape.

What makes the ICU of the Future different?

To deliver a new ICU environment that puts patients at the core, it was critical that we engage past patients and their families.

Our goal was to deeply understand their experiences, their challenges, and the physical and sensory factors that were linked to long-term patient problems such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other psychological complications commonly seen after an ICU admission.

This revolution in ICU design will allow patients to rest and recover in a quiet, peaceful environment, whilst remaining connected to friends and family through innovative technology.

Simulated Natural Light

The lighting incorporated into the design mimics natural light and informs the body’s natural circadian rhythm to help patients sleep.


The area is designed to maximise patient privacy.

Sound Surpression

Anti-infection acoustic panels to help reduce the amount of noise experienced by the patient.

Innovation Technology

Inclusion of technology to improve how the patient connects to their family and friends, and the outside world.

More relaxing & calming environment

Silent alarms, plus the space is designed to feel more like a hotel room and equipment is positioned behind a patient’s head to offer them a better outlook.

We want patients to thrive, not just survive.

The history of the ICU

Intensive Care Units have changed little over the past 50 years.

Designed around the need for close observation and focussing on optimising survival led to an ICU designed around the needs of the clinicians rather than the patients.

This design however came at a cost. Lack of sleep, lack of privacy, high levels of anxiety, and in many cases, the patient experiencing delirium.

The ICU of the Future is designed around the needs of the patient – to rest, relax, be comfortable and recover, all while staying connected with their families.

Gavin Allen’s ICU Experience

Former State of Origin and Brisbane Broncos rugby league player, Gavin Allen, spent three weeks in the ICU following a life-saving heart transplant.

While he is incredibly grateful for the care he received, he said he was as “terrified at times” during his stay in the ICU.

Thank you to our donors & supporters

We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received to make this project a reality.

This project would not have been possible without the support of over 900 donors, as well as contributions from Metro North HealthQueensland Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance CommissionQueensland Health, and the Queensland Technology Future Fund.

Mr Acworth

Mrs Anderson

Mr Baad

Dr Barbero

Dr Bialic

Mr Bland

Ms Bowen

Mr Brown

Mrs Burnett

Ms Carseldine

Mr Charteris

Ms Clelland

Ms Cowled

Ms Crouch

Mr Davies

Mr Davison

Mrs Dean

Mr Drummond

Dr Ducker

Miss Dunne

Mr & Mrs Fischer

Prof Fraser

Mr Giancola

Mr & Mrs Gordon

Ms Gordon

Mrs Gore

Mr Gradwell

Mr Halfpenny

Mr Harper

Mr Harrison

Mr Haymon

Mrs Hodda

Ms Hooper

Mr Hortle

Mr Hovell

Mrs Huth

Mrs Janssen

Mrs Kohler

Mrs Kruger

Mr Ladley

Mr Lambert

Mr Lamerand

Mr Laverack

Mrs Lee

Mr Lillie

Ms Livings

Mr McAinch

Mr McBride

Mrs Mitchell

Mr Morrison

Mr Nielsen

Mrs Nielsen

Mr O’Connor

Mrs Power

Mr Redmayne

Mrs Rimmington

Mr Robilliard

Ms Schuhmann

Ms Scully

Miss Smith

Mr Stower

Mr Stratford

Mr Strodl

Mr Talbot

Mr Thompson

Mr Thomson

Mr Vance

Mr Vernon

Mr Walsh

Mr Walters

Mrs Whiteway

Mr & Mrs Wilkie

Ms Wong

Proudly presented by

You can help make medical discoveries

The Common Good exists to help people live healthier, for longer.

Through the power of the collective, we support and facilitate the work of incredible researchers who are dedicated to making breakthroughs in the areas of heart disease, lung disease, mental health and dementia.

Research is a long game, so we need to support and fund as many hours as possible to ensure no stone is left unturned. Every extra hour of research gets us one step closer to a medical breakthrough.


Make a donation