Enabling Virtual Visits to the ICU at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, India

K. Ganapathy, K.Devasia, Y.Kumar

Reducing physical visits to ICU’s, helps infection reduction. However relatives wish to have constant updates and see their sick near and dear. To bridge this void, the I SEE U® Service was conceptualised and implemented, enabling Virtual Video Visits ( VVV) from anywhere in the world. Objectives included providing a highly secure ,reliable , state of the art method to enable authorised relatives and friends to make VVV; facilitate multi point VC between relatives and duty doctor, at the patient’s bedside, for real uptime updates ; assist physicians to make additional professional visits virtually, from home, office or while travelling and to remotely visualise ICU monitors.

Training was conducted for stakeholder s. Billing was integrated with HIS. An introductory I-SEEU coupon was provided at admission, detailing the procedure i.e: Call Apollo Call Centre (ACC) only from the RMN ( registered mobile number for security/ privacy) to initiate the I See U Service, and agree on time of VVV. After VVV time is reconfirmed by ICU cubicle nurse, SMS and email was sent to RMN and registered email giving an OTP, specific to the cubicle camera, displayed in the URL www.iseeu.apollo.net.in) . OTP can be shared by the authorised relative.

On entering the URL, the access page displays a simple user friendly menu to pan, tilt and zoom the cubicle camera . Once the VVV has commenced the ACC will enable an audio call with duty nurse/ duty doctor and if permitted the patient also . 80% of the 597 VVV, made in the first 68 weeks, were by the immediate family. 3% were from relatives overseas, 10% were physician visits. Initial technical glitches were addressed, ensuring a subsequent seamless experience involving integration of an “open” I-SEE-U network, with a “closed” highly secure hospital network. Subsequently Wi Fi enabled mobile I-SEE-U carts were deployed to reduce CAPEX and increase access to VVV. Secure I SEE U Mobile App, for Android mobile phones, is under development. With nominal charges, no consumable items, privacy and security, increasing utilization and an “excellent experience”, VVV will become self-sustaining.

Conflict of interest. The author declare no conflict of interest

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intensive care, organisation, videoconference, televisit, patient