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Virtual Critical Care Unit
The Virtual Critical Care Unit (ViCCU®) won the iMPLEMENTATION: TELECOMMUNICATIONS category in the 2004 AIIA Awards
The high bandwidths being made available through advanced networks
such as CeNTIE making possible new critical care telehealth
applications not achievable at ISDN bandwidths. Critical care
applications typically include Emergency, Obstetrics and Intensive
Care. These applications are characterised by:
- Complex, multimedia information space
- Several members of a team working simultaneously
- Interrupt driven mode of working
- Focus on patient, not technology
collaboration with Wentworth Area Health Service and NSW Health, CSIRO
has developed and installed a "Virtual Critical Care Unit" (ViCCU®).
This allows a specialist intensivist located at one hospital to
supervise a resuscitation team located at a peripheral hospital.
In the first instance, the central hospital is Nepean Hospital, on the western outskirts of Sydney. The peripheral hospital is Blue Mountains District Hospital,
located 60 km further west in Katoomba. The communications are based on
technology developed by CeNTIE. The two hospitals will be connected to
CSIRO laboratories via the CeNTIE network.
designed so that all information required by the intensivist to make
judgments on patient treatment is available in real time, as if he or
she were present at the peripheral hospital.
is achieved by transmitting several high quality digital video
channels, high quality audio, vital signs data, written notes and
medical images. Two-way high bandwidth video permits natural,
low-latency "telepresence" interaction with the intensivist.
system is designed to be robust, fault-tolerant and easy to use in the
highly stressful atmosphere of the Emergency Department.
Area Health Service has developed special training and operation
protocols in collaboration with the CSIRO researchers and the Sydney
Medical Simulation Unit located at Royal North Shore Hospital.
CeNTIE project is supported by the Australian Government through the
Advanced Networks Program of the Department of Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts and CSIRO ICT Centre.