The incorporation of cutting-edge integrated technology in this project aims to save lives in critical conditions, even in remote rural settings, while helping doctors in rural areas better manage patients and bridging the gap in healthcare services between urban and rural regions.
In a recent move aimed at improving healthcare in rural areas, the Andhra Pradesh state government has unveiled a Live ICU facility at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Chilakaluripet, AP, the hometown of Health Minister V Rajani.
Minister Rajani and Health Commissioner J Nivas inaugurated this initiative.
The state government has partnered with the SHRI Hospital, Guntur, to introduce the Smart ICU project on a pilot basis. This project incorporates cutting-edge AI-integrated technology intending to save lives in critical conditions, even in remote rural settings.
Dr K Kalyan Chakravarthy, the director of SHRI Hospital Group, explained the concept behind this technology. He said, "It is a novel technology where automation, integration, and collaboration converge to dedicatedly keep patients alive, even in remote rural healthcare institutions. Upon a patient's arrival in the emergency room, their health condition is instantaneously captured by this integrated technology, and the data is continuously streamed to higher centres. Intensivists and super-specialists at these higher centres can evaluate the data and provide live suggestions to doctors and medical teams at the primary health facility without the need to transfer patients in critical condition."
Dr Chakravarthy noted the significance of 24/7 access to intensivists and super-specialists, which could potentially save numerous lives in critical conditions. Furthermore, this technology is set to help doctors in rural areas manage patients better, bridging the gap in healthcare services between urban and rural regions.
A notable feature of this AI-driven system is the '˜deterioration index,' an inbuilt machine learning and AI model. This index aids in identifying patients whose condition is worsening earlier than it may be recognised through traditional clinical evaluation or regular rounds.
One of the persistent challenges in healthcare has been the transfer of critical patients from rural health centres to referral hospitals. This often results in losing crucial hours during the journey, which can be life-threatening.
However, with the introduction of the Smart ICU powered by AI, initial resuscitation and the management of patients in critical conditions will be possible, even when the patient is located in a remote healthcare centre.
The pilot project, undertaken by Dr Kalyan Chakravarthy of SHRI Hospital, initially supports four emergency beds and is estimated to cost 25 Lakh per annum, including establishment expenses.
The introduction of this advanced healthcare technology holds the promise of transforming rural healthcare and making critical medical interventions more accessible to those who need them most.
In a similar development in the field of remote patient monitoring, Medanta, one of India's leading multi-speciality hospitals, recently collaborated with GE Healthcare to launch Tele-ICU services nationwide. Tele-ICU is an innovative technology that allows critical care specialists to monitor and manage ICU patients remotely, using audio-visual communication tools and real-time data analytics.
This new initiative aims to address the shortage of critical care specialists in India, especially in remote and underserved areas. With Tele-ICU, Medanta aims to improve patient outcomes, reduce mortality rates, and enhance the country's overall quality of critical care services.