Zhejiang and Karamay set up online ICU
Two doctors from the SAHZU watch the health indexes of a patient in Karamay Central Hospital at the eICU center in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
Doctors in Zhejiang province are now treating critically sick patients more than 3,500 kilometers away in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, after the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine (SAHZU) and Karamay Central Hospital (KCH) set up an online intensive care unit.
The "eICU" allows doctors in the SAHZU to monitor intensive care patients in the hospital in Karamay, a city in western Xinjiang, in real time, and advise their colleagues at KCH on treatment.
The online unit, the first of its kind in China, uses internet technology to enable doctors remotely to monitor patients' conditions including their medical records, inspection results and life signs at any time.
"Different from ordinary remote medical treatment, the eICU enables us to get real-time information about patients' health conditions, which will improve our work efficiency and accuracy," said Huang Man, director of the SAHZU's intensive care department.
Zhejiang has offered help to develop China's less prosperous central and western regions for many years. The establishment of eICU is one of the latest in a series of projects the eastern province has initiated to help improve health care standards in Xinjiang.
The city of Karamay is less developed than cities in Zhejiang and is short of medical resources. The city's isolation in the vast desert of north Xinjiang, meanwhile, makes it difficult to transfer patients to other hospitals.
The eICU has already proved itself quite effective in lowering the death rate of severely ill patients and shortening their hospital stays, according to Huang.
In addition to the eICU, Zhejiang also provides talent support for Xinjiang as well. So far, the SAHZU has sent 13 experts to help improve Xinjiang's medical care and launched cooperation projects in remote treatment with more than 30 local hospitals.