Remote monitoring tech from GE Healthcare, Microsoft can help hospitals manage COVID-19 response

The cloud-based Mural virtual-care technology, hosted on Microsoft's Azure platform, enables clinicians to monitor the ventilation status of multiple ICU patients at once.
By Mike Miliard
12:28 PM

(Photo: GE Healthcare)

GE Healthcare has introduced a new cloud-based remote-monitoring tool designed to help clinicians look after ventilated COVID-19 patients.

WHY IT MATTERS

GE's Mural virtual-care technology aims to give hospitals visibility across their ventilated patient population, helping clinicians identify patients at risk of deterioration.

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Delivered via Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, the tool is meant to help hospitals preserve clinical resources as more patients are admitted for COVID-19 treatment, according to the company.

By enabling broader surveillance of patients in a hospital's intensive care unit – even multi-site ICUs, with as many as 100 beds – the Mural technology, monitored continuously by nurses and intensivists, aggregates near real-time data to keep them apprised of patients' conditions.

This includes data from ventilators, patient monitoring systems, electronic health records, labs and other sources. In addition to enable the tracking of multiple patients at once, the surveillance tool can also help reduce clinicians' exposure to coronavirus.

GE Healthcare says its partnership with Microsoft makes for a scalable and affordable tool, and through January 2021, GE says it will waive software subscription charges for Mural.

THE LARGER TREND

Remote monitoring has been a critical component of patient care delivery during the pandemic.

Digital tools designed to monitor patients remotely with clinical-grade sensors and gather data on physiological signals can improve clinical decision-making for providers and help researchers gain insights into coronavirus so they can better treat it.

Powerful remote patient-monitoring tools are being deployed, not just in hospitals, but also by national health agencies around the world and also for home-based care.

ON THE RECORD

"Facing the daunting outlook of a COVID-19 surge, it is imperative that I and my fellow healthcare workers use virtual ICU technology to safely monitor and care for our sickest patients while preserving PPE," said Matthias Merkel, M.D., Ph.D., OHSU's Chief Medical Capacity Officer, vice chair of Critical Care Medicine, and professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. "Remaining closely connected and supported through technology enables us to progress our patients' care across a geographic distance that we would otherwise be unable to manage."

"As both large and small hospitals treat the growing number of COVID-19 patients, the strain on healthcare providers and systems will be unprecedented," said GE Healthcare president and CEO Kieran Murphy. "We are excited to have a partner like Microsoft to help us arm clinicians with the software tools they need."

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media

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