U.K. plans trial of eICU technology

Providers in the U.K. plan to test eICU technology used in the U.S. to determine whether remote monitoring of critically ill patients is effective.

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, which has 100 intensive care beds across different sites, will launch the evaluation of Philips telemedicine technology, comparing it with its existing care and with eICU care in the U.S., according to to BMJ.

Richard Beale, the trust's clinical director of perioperative, critical care and pain services, told a conference last week that if successful, the technology could be rolled out more widely.

"A system that uses modern telemedicine and computer technology and has a support center in place where skilled nurses and doctors are available around the clock to try and provide an extra layer of support and guidance in a structured fashion is clearly very attractive," he said.

While the technology promises to stretch the skills of an inadequate pool of specialists, Gaurav Kumar, a fellow at the University of Iowa, has been at the forefront of researchers questioning claims that eICUs improve patient outcomes or help hospitals' bottom lines.

Some U.S. hospitals have adopted eICU technology, then ditched it, according to a New York Times article that questions the efficiency claims. Those hospitals include NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Kaleida Health in Buffalo, as well as hospital systems in Michigan, Texas and Kentucky.

To learn more:
- read the BMJ article

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