The installation at the hospitals will be the first of its kind in the UK and Europe. It is already used in about 300 hospitals in the US where studies have shown it has reduced patient mortality rates and hospital stays.
The system, supported by funding from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, will be implemented over the next year on a trial basis to test its effectiveness.
The eICU Program, often dubbed 'a second pair of eyes on
patients', is designed to transform conventional ICU in hospitals using
real-time, 24/7 patient monitoring overseen by critical care specialists
– in a similar way to an air-traffic controller's station.
Patients are monitored remotely using clinical software and tools
such as two-way audio and high definition video. This means a team of
experienced intensivists and nurses can constantly monitor a patient's
condition, including during out of hours (nights and weekends). It
allows the team to alert bedside physicians in a timely way to ensure
that even subtle changes in vital signs, such as heart rate or blood
pressure, are not missed.
"ICU is one of the most challenging areas of the hospital – it is
where doctors and nurses respond to the sickest, most vulnerable
patients who can rapidly take a turn for the worse with little or no
advance warning," says Dr Richard Beale, clinical director of
perioperative, critical care and pain services.
"With the Philips eICU Program, the bedside clinical staff
will have immediate access to a team of highly skilled senior colleagues
who provide an added layer of support to help save lives, reduce
complications and decrease the length of ICU stays."