Japanese university partners with Philips on country's 1st eICU: 4 things to know

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Showa University in Tokyo launched a remote intensive care unit program at Showa University Hospital and Showa Koto Toyosu Hospital, both based in Tokyo, through a partnership with Royal Philips, the Amsterdam-based health technology company confirmed July 3.

Here are four things to know about the program:

1. The Philips eICU program enables remote physicians to monitor critically ill patients at multiple sites from a centralized support center. Using telehealth equipment, the remote physicians can also conduct video consultations with bedside caregivers to discuss treatment plans for ICU patients.

2. The Philips eICU provides remote physicians with predictive insights into ICU patients' potential health deteriorations. These predictive algorithms, along with continuous patient monitoring, are meant to encourages early intervention in patient care.

3. The goal of the eICU program is to address a shortage of critical care physicians in Japan.

"Having a centralized remote patient support center provides the ability to consolidate and standardize care, reduce transfers while maximizing bed utilization, and reassure bedside staff," Hiroyuki Tsutsumi, CEO of Philips Japan, said in the company's July 3 statement. "This helps reduces costs while enhancing revenues, patient flow and capacity management across the system."

4. Showa University and Philips' eICU program is the first of its kind in Japan. The eICU program was established through an effort for global innovation centers funded by the Japanese government, which aims to bring technology advancements into healthcare in the country.

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