Philips, Vidyo Collaborate on Remote Patient-Monitoring Platform

Philips' IntelliSpace eCareManager 3.9 will incorporate Vidyo's VidyoRouter technology to enable remote video monitoring of patients in hospitals or at home.

Philips Healthcare and Vidyo have partnered to enable remote video monitoring in hospitals to ease the workflow of doctors and clinicians as they manage patient care.

The Philips IntelliSpace eCareManager 3.9 platform will incorporate Vidyo's VidyoRouter, a device that allows a health provider's telemetry devices to work across a broader range of networks. It enables multipoint video conferencing and offers transcoding-free packet switching.

Philips collaborated with Vidyo to add high-definition "coherent streaming uninterrupted video" to eCareManager, Karsten Russell-Wood, senior manager of telehealth for Philips Healthcare, told eWEEK.

In addition to video, eCareManager 3.9 also features what Philips calls the Orb dashboard that enables doctors to coordinate care and manage the population of patients in multiple hospitals and geographic locations. Designed as circles representing the status of patients, Philips' Orb dashboard offers more than 100 clinical rules and allows doctors to analyze complex medical data in real time.

"Orb is a technology focused on managing populations of patients by simplifying the way care providers are able to access and visualize information," said Russell-Wood.

Philips and Vidyo launched the platform on March 6 at the Healthcare Management and Systems Society's conference, HIMSS13, in New Orleans.

Telehealth systems can allow doctors and nurses to managing multiple systems and more than 450 patients at a time, said Russell-Wood.

Research shows that telehealth is catching on with patients. A March 4 study carried out by market research firm InsightExpress and commissioned by Cisco showed that 74 percent of consumers are willing to participate in remote health sessions.

Before telehealth, doctors would be focused on "single, episodic care," Russell-Wood noted. "Now telehealth can mirror a patient's path through the hospital similar to a patient's continuum from an emergency department to ICU to acute care to the home. And we actually can carry the patient through the care transitions completely through that remote team."

Vidyo and the Orb population-management tool allow health care providers to manage large numbers of patients with less staff while reducing costs and improving quality of care, said Russell-Wood.

In addition to following patients through multiple locations—from the emergency department to the ICU—eCareManager can reduce redundancies in tech equipment, Russell-Wood added.

The integration of video conferencing allows a care team to streamline digital communications with a central hub, which monitors multiple ICU beds and enables doctors to monitor telemetry equipment, Amnon Gavish, Vidyo's senior vice president of vertical solutions, told eWEEK. At the "nerve station," clinicians can also make announcements to multiple patients or go into a live session with one patient, he said.

Compared with the previous release of eCareManager, version 3.9 allows a health system to connect hospitals remotely over a public network without significant investment in expensive private networks, Gavish added. It also adds full duplexing processing so caregivers can monitor beds remotely, said Gavish.

The first use case for the platform will be ICU departments, said Gavish, but the system can also be used for direct patient-to-physician consultations, even after they've been released from the hospital.

"[eCareManager is] a natural extension of the medical workflow, enhancing the ability to provide the service remotely rather than use a separate [video conferencing] system that requires attention," said Gavish.