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Telemedicine/Virtual ICU: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

Telemedicine/Virtual ICU: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

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Telemedicine/Virtual ICU: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?

Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2018 Apr-Jun;14(2):126-133

Authors: Udeh C, Udeh B, Rahman N, Canfield C, Campbell J, Hata JS

Abstract
Intensive care unit telemedicine (tele-ICU) is technology enabled care delivered from off-site locations that was developed to address the increasing complexity of patients and insufficient supply of intensivists. Although tele-ICU deployment is increasing, it continues to cover only a small proportion of ICU patients. This is primarily due to expense, with first-year costs exceeding $50,000 per bed. Meta-analyses of outcomes indicate survival benefits and quality improvements, albeit with significant heterogeneity. Depending on the context, a wide range of estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios reflects variable effects on cost and outcomes, such as mortality or length of stay. Tele-ICUs may fit within a hybrid model of care to complement high-intensity ICU staff coverage. However, more research is required to foster consensus and determine best practices. This review summarizes data on tele-ICU structure, operations, outcomes, and costs. Evidence was extracted from meta-analyses, with secondary data from Cleveland Clinic's tele-ICU experience.

PMID: 29977469 [PubMed - in process]

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