QUEZON CITY --The Department of Health (DOH) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) turned-over July 8, the first teleICU system that will be used at the intensive care unit of the Quezon Medical Center in Lucena City, Quezon.
Former Regional Director Eduardo C, Janairo, one of the guests of honor during the ceremony stated that he initiated the project to protect health care providers in ICUs because they are constantly at high risk of contracting the virus due to their proximity and exposure while treating critically-ill covid patients. “We can lessen these risks and still provide optimal care while minimizing the risk of acquiring the virus infection and ensuring their health and safety.”
“And through teleICU, we can manage patients remotely through an intensive care team that will monitor Covid patients in ICUs and provide updates on their health status to intensive care physicians remotely in order for them to deliver timely and effective critical care services,” he emphasized.
Janairo added that a critical Covid patient in an ICU can be monitored by placing a lifesignal patch on a patient’s chest for five days. “It is a cardiovascular monitoring device that will record the patient’s temperature, respiration rate, ECG trace, heart rate and movement in real time.”
The data gathered by the lifesignal patch will be sent wirelessly and displayed in real time on a monitor. If symptoms develop, the device and its data platform will alert healthcare providers to take necessary action.
The lifesignal patch is disposable and can be self-applied and most important it reduces cross-contamination risk and time spent attaching individual devices to a patient.
The regional office has procured 600 lifesignal patches that will be used for critically-ill covid patients admitted at the Quezon Medical Center in Lucena City.
OIC-Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated the tele-ICU project can help protect health care providers and also mitigate the rising Covid infection in Quezon, particularly in Lucena City which was recently placed under a strict modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“We will be deploying four more tele-ICU systems that will be placed at the San Juan Hospital in Batangas, Laguna Medical Center and San Pablo City General Hospital in Laguna and at the Southern Tagalog Regional Hospital in Cavite.”
“Our health workers are the lifeblood of our health care system. We need to keep our health workers safe to ensure an effective health care system keeping patients safe, relieving their suffering and saving their lives,” she emphasized.
TeleICU, also known as eICU, is the diagnosis and treatment of critically ill patients by a remote intensive care physician or intensivist and critical care nurses with the use of telecommunication such as videoconferencing, providing real-time audio and visual services to ICU centers regardless of their locations.
Dr. Janairo underlined that the current Covid pandemic is an opportunity for innovations and it is important to focus on improved health outcomes and reduce healthcare cost.
“There will be many lessons that can be learned during this pandemic that will provide innovations and that will help shape the future of medicine. Telemedicine and particularly teleICU are among them which will play a significant role in creating a new model of health care for the future,” Janairo concluded.