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India gets first tele-ICU for critical patients


New Delhi: Even as the concept of tele-medicine or clinical care through technology is yet to find ground in India, medical experts Friday announced the launch of a tele-intensive care unit (ICU) for management of critically ill patients in small towns.

The project 'CritiNext', a collaborative venture of Fortis group and GE health care, promises to take intensive care into digital age by providing 24X7 medical care to patients through internet-based communication.

"Tele-ICU would connect a command centre in a super speciality hospital to a district hospital of a local hospital. The super speciality hospital and experts there will provide advanced consultation, care and monitoring to local hospital's critically ill patients without having physically transferring them anywhere," said Amit Varma, executive director of CritiNext, Fortis group.

The system is first of its kind in the country, experts say.

"It is a pay-per-use system where GE health care will help us with technology and Fortis group will support manpower needs," Varma added.

The system is currently operational in Chattisgarh's Raipur and Uttarakhand's Dehradun. According to the management, two more hospitals in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh are expected to be operational by this year's end.

The tele-ICU system involves remote ICU monitoring technology with experts who help reduce medical errors by guiding hospitals with shortage of critical care experts. The experts at the command centre also access the diagnostics reports other than communicating with the doctors.


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