A leading private healthcare group on Wednesday said it has launched a centre of excellence to provide world-class critical care facility to patients through its chain of hospitals and partner institutions using digital technology.
Apollo Hospitals said the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the challenges faced by the country with regard to infrastructure to provide critical care to patients.
Critical care deals with critically-ill patients who require intensive care for various medical conditions that are immediately life-threatening but reversible. And, with the intent to cater to such patients, the Apollo Centre of Excellence in Critical Care (ACECC) was launched on Wednesday in Hyderabad on a pilot basis, it said.
The centre will harness digital technology to create an integrated network of e-ICUs, providing world-class critical care not just across the Apollo Hospitals network, but also to others in partnership with non-Apollo units in India and abroad, the group said in a statement.
The Hyderabad-based centre has been started on a pilot basis and two more such units are expected to be started soon, the group said.
The centre will essentially provide expertise and guidance at other places through a remote ICU setup in which a central team will monitor a patient over a video link in real-time, it said.
This is to ensure faster turnaround on clinical management of critical cases, as remotely they can connect with experts from various organisations and discuss or supervise a case. Patients will not have to travel from one hospital to another in search of a doctor as experts will be available virtually, the group said.
The ACECC will enable wider and timely access to critical care and help in implementing a standardised scope of management and treatment in emergencies and critical medical situations, the statement said.
Dr. Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, "Critical illness leads to millions of deaths each year. However, critical care faces challenges due to factors, such as lack of prioritisation, coordination, timely identification and availability of basic life-saving treatments."
"The Apollo Centre of Excellence in Critical Care goes beyond Apollo Hospitals through partnerships with non-Apollo units, both public and private to add value and make it a win-win (situation) for patients, doctors, nursing homes and hospitals across India," he was quoted as saying in the statement.
The ACECC will comprise digital technology-enabled critical care units (CCUs) having standard protocols and operating procedures supported by smart solutions.
This will enable expansion of the critical care network through e-ICUs using tele-health and Apollo Connect. The ACECC will also focus on evidence-based protocols, training, and capacity building of critical care specialists, the group said.
Preetha Reddy, Executive Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Group, said, "The Covid pandemic highlighted the challenges faced by the country with regard to its critical care infrastructure. Studies have indicated that India has just 2.3 critical care beds per 1,00,000 population as against 10 to 11 beds per 1,00,000 population in developed countries like South Korea and Singapore."
The pandemic brought to the fore the need for augmenting India's critical treatment facilities and creating capability for high-end critical care. "The ACECC will be based on a network of hub-and-spokes units between Apollo and non-Apollo providers, both public and private, to ensure that every citizen has access to the best of critical care when needed," she said.
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