A Cyber-Physical System for Telemedicine and Intensive Care
About the project
The current pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 disease, now affecting large numbers of people in several countries in Europe and around the world, has highlighted many of the weaknesses in the health management systems of European Union countries. In general, European health services responded well to the emerging Covid-19 crisis, especially where intensive care unit (ICU) capacities matched the needs, where these units were prepared and cooperated collectively, sharing scientific knowledge and applied methodologies, and additionally, where they were able to prevent the spread of disease among health professionals and patients.
The Regional Secretariat for Health and Civil Protection (SRS) will soon have under execution a project funded by the European Community program Horizon 2020 in partnership with UNINOVA, called ICU4COVID- CYBER-PHYSICAL INTENSIVE CARE MEDICAL SYSTEM FOR COVID-19, which aims to provide solutions in the area of intensive care by empowering hospital intensive care units with innovative technological resources, enabling improved management and sustainability of health systems.
The ICU4COVID project will install and test this technological and organizational infrastructure in several ICU Hubs in Europe, one of which in the RAM, providing an innovative solution in the field of new technologies in the intensive care procedures of the Regional Health Service and to the respective users of the RAM. UNINOVA is the project coordinator and one of the responsible for the installation and integration of the respective technological solution. The project will begin in January 2021 with a total duration of 24 months and an overall funding of 10 497 100 €.
Today, only 47% of hospitals have the recommended coverage of intensive care specialists and this is not evenly distributed between urban centres and outlying areas. The ICU4COVID project, through the use of Cyber-Physical Telemedicine and Intensive Care Systems (CPS4TIC), aims to enable existing or newly created ICU structures to develop their activities in partnership with an ICU Hub, by establishing a central unit, followed by several units connected through peripheral hospitals.
The CPS4TIC system was successfully used in the first months of the 2020 pandemic outbreak of Covid-19 to ensure the effective diagnosis and treatment of patients with Covid-19 while also significantly reducing the risk of spreading SARS-coV-2 infection in ICUs. CPS4TIC consists of a telemedicine cockpit in the central ICU, telemedicine consoles in each of the outlying hospital ICUs, and connector platforms and intelligent bedside Hubs including a robotic arm, in both types of ICUs, in addition to telemonitoring in the central and outlying hospitals. The ICU Hub operates in the context of telemedicine and continuous real-time telemonitoring within the framework of intelligent bedside monitoring.
The intelligent bedside monitoring environment significantly reduces the risk of infection among healthcare professionals at both the central and peripheral hospital sites.
The ICU4Covid project includes partners from 6 European Union countries (Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Austria, Greece, and the Netherlands) and will implement and test the CPS4TIC system on a large scale with eight ICU Hubs in Europe (four in the countries of the initial consortium of this research project and four selected by competitive tender).
This research project will cover more than 30,000 patients per year, among approximately 60 million citizens of all the countries involved. In the RAM it is planned to install an ICU unit that will allow the monitoring of 11 beds.