Remote Intensive Care, a reality in India, powered by American technology

Remote Intensive Care, a reality in India, powered by American technology

CritiNext, the e-ICU from Fortis Hospitals of India enables a remote hospital to provide advanced care to critically ill patients without having to physically move them to specialty hospitals. Powered by GE Healthcare, the CritiNext e-ICU has its command center at the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi according to a report in the  Knowledge @ Wharton website.

“With CritiNext, we want to make specialty critical care accessible and affordable to patients in [the] small towns of India,” says Amit Varma, director of critical care medicine at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute. Varma points out there are around five million ICU admissions in India annually, but there are less than 5,000 intensive care doctors across the country.

Patients in hospitals without ICU facilities are typically moved to where the care is available. This is both expensive and unsafe for the patients. With the CritiNext e-ICU, patients are connected to the command center in New Delhi, where a team of critical care physicians monitor them in real time. Doctors can be alerted to a spike in white blood cell count, the start of a low-grade fever and so on. The physicians at the command center assist in treatment through the local on-site physicians using audio and video facilities.

CritiNext has a team of 18 medical professionals at the command center and covers 34 ICU beds in four hospitals. By the end of the year, Varma is looking to cover 150 beds at different locations across the country and 500 beds by the end of 2014. These will be in hospitals attached to the Fortis group as well as in non-Fortis hospitals.


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