Fortis Healthcare, as part of its strategic partnership with GE Healthcare, has announced plans to expand its electronic Intensive Care Unit (eICU) facility to 500 beds in 20 Indian small towns and cities by 2014.
The healthcare and hospital major, in association with GE Healthcare, launched the eICU solution ‘CritiNext’ a few months ago.
Presently, 100 beds are monitored through eICUs across three Fortis hospitals in Raipur, Dehradun and Agra. This is set to increase to 150 beds by the end of this year. Following completion of the project’s first phase, 300 beds are planned to be put under eICU surveillance by next year.
Fortis has made an investment of around Rs 10 crore, while GE has invested around Rs 15 crore, which according to Fortis Group of Hospitals Executive Director (CritiNext) Dr Amit Varma, will involve the addition of approximately 500 beds.
Dr Varma said the partnership is based on a revenue sharing model, wherein GE will provide technical support by way of equipment, electronic data solutions and software, while Fortis will contribute through connectivity and expertise.
“Each year, an estimated 10 per cent of all hospital admissions require ICU care. The statistics are staggering — just 70,000 well-equipped ICU beds against an estimated demand of 400,000 to provide critical care for approximately 5 million cases per year,” Dr Varma said, pointing to a dearth of qualified intensive care specialists, currently numbering around 6,000 intensivists and anaesthetists.
Patients in India often need to travel long distances to large cities looking out for hospitals providing quality ICU care, incurring a lot of money and time. Transporting critically ill patients from one facility to another, especially distant hospitals, can jeopardise their lives.
“The CritiNext eICU enables a remote hospital to provide advanced consultation, care and monitoring to in-patients without having to physically transfer them to super-speciality hospitals,” Dr Varma said.
“CritiNext is a solution to bridge the huge gap of ICU beds by providing specialist care at the point, where it is needed in a cost effective way. It also provides successful evidence based outcomes helping standardise the critical care for the patients irrespective of where they live,” Dr Varma added.
Going forward, Fortis aims to make the concept available to people across the country, and is looking at Public-Private Partnerships, where eICU and similar solutions can be made available more widely.