Dr. Emma Fauss and Dr. Craig Rusin worked for a decade to solve an urgent problem: How can they reduce risk in intensive care units? They knew technology could save lives.
The challenge was that ICUs are extremely complex care environments. Although massive quantities of data are collected at every bedside, it is currently siloed in the monitoring devices such as cardiac monitors and ventilators from a mix of different vendors.
Yet the breakthrough arrived. Since they founded Medical Informatics Corp. (MIC) in 2010, Fauss and Rusin developed an FDA cleared software platform, SickbayTM, to collect all patient data across ICU equipment and disparate vendors to enable flexible remote monitoring at scale. It can apply patient-specific analytics to augment decision making and help care teams intervene faster. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for clinical distancing has never been greater. Embattled hospitals are now using Sickbay to protect care teams from exposure and scale up intensive care beds and staff as they face combat-like conditions.
Scale Up Care and Capacity
Surging patient numbers are stretching ICUs to their limits, forcing hospitals to expand capacity. Once installed, Sickbay helps them adapt, offering the foundation to transform any acute care bed into a monitored ICU bed in a matter of minutes. In the face of staff shortages, hospitals can bolster staff capacity by granting providers remote access to data from any PC, tablet or phone to monitor up to 100 patients on a single screen across units, facilities, and device manufacturers.
Once ICU beds are connected to the system, Sickbay supports evidence-based care decisions by providing patient history for their entire length of stay. That means providers have access to the data they need to intervene faster, help avoid intubation, and improve management of ventilated patients. As they combat COVID-19, Houston Methodist Hospital has already expanded the use of the Sickbay platform to prepare their ICUs. Many other hospitals such as University of Alabama at Birmingham are in the process of expanding as well.
The Urgency of Clinical Distancing
We have to protect those we hail as heroes. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, medical workers who are directly exposed to patients are at high risk—as much as three times as likely to get infected with the virus than the general population.2
Clinical distancing can help protect staff. Using software running on an open Intel® architecture, the Sickbay platform connects providers to patients based on their specialty, allowing them to provide remote care when they are needed most. Software-based monitoring helps medical workers limit exposure to the virus by visualizing the monitor and ventilator data from any web-enabled device, making it possible to view from the safety of the conference room, office, home, or quarantined area.
Retired doctors, new graduates, and remote care providers in other states can use Sickbay to lend a hand remotely.
Making the Most of Scarce Resources
Overstretched hospitals are able to enlist more help with Sickbay. The American Medical Association estimates that approximately 10,000 retired physicians could reenter practice each year,3 and the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department have begun setting up databases of retired medical personnel willing to help. These doctors, new graduates, and remote care providers in other states could use Sickbay to lend a hand remotely, making the most of underutilized talent in areas not heavily impacted by the virus.
Given the limited supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE), hospitals using Sickbay can also reduce the use of precious hospital supplies—all without compromising the quality of care.
Preparing for the Next Pandemic
COVID-19 has demonstrated how much we all rely on hospitals and care workers. It has also underscored how quickly they can adapt in times of need. As part of Intel’s $50 million pandemic response, Intel and MIC are launching the Scale to Serve Program to help 100 hospitals rapidly install the Sickbay platform, funding the implementation process and waiving the first 90 days of subscription costs. Qualifying hospitals can skip months of procurement work and set up easily: once hospitals decide to adopt the platform, it can be deployed in as little as a week to help fight COVID-19.
Sickbay is serving patients and protecting workers to get us through the current crisis. But it will also be a foundation for a new standard of care tomorrow, empowering hospitals to be ready whenever the next pandemic or disaster strikes.
Click here to learn more about how MIC’s FDA-cleared Sickbay Platform can help. If you’d like to see if you qualify to participate in the Scale to Serve Program, complete the on-line application form now.