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Philips shares comprehensive eICU data with Massachusetts Institute of Technology

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | January 19, 2015
Royal Philips announced on Thursday that it started a new initiative with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to give it access to data from Philips Hospital to the Home eICU telehealth program. The company claims that it's one of the most expansive ICU-centric longitudinal databases, with information on over 100,000 patients.

"This kind of access will provide researchers with data that will enable investigations otherwise unimaginable," Leo Anthony Celi of MIT, said in a statement.

Researchers at the Philips eICU Research Institute have already been using the database for their peer-reviewed critical care research, and now the MIT researchers contribute their methodologies to the research community to "facilitate faster discoveries in the future."
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When researchers need access to multi-center inpatient data sets they usually have to use insurance claims data, but that only provides them with a summary of the patient's hospital stay. Philips' database is filled with anonymous information on vital signs, pharmacy medication orders, laboratory results, diagnoses of serious illnesses and severity of illness scores.

It will give the researchers a more complete look at ICU patients' hospital stays. The data is specifically from patient stays in eICU centers, which currently make up about 10 percent of the adult ICU beds in the U.S.

Philips' eICU telehealth program involves a remote command center made up of intensivists and nurses, who deliver 24-hour care to the patients within the ICU. They use high-resolution cameras and microphones to determine signs of patient distress and then alert the bedside team so they can intervene.

The program is aiming to solve the current disparity between numbers of intensivists and patients. Just over ten thousand intensivists practice in the U.S. today but more than five million patients are admitted to the ICU each year, according to The Society of Critical Care Medicine.

The researchers will be able to access the data through PhysioNet, which provides free web access to big collections of recorded physiologic signals and associated open-source software. The data will be made available before the end of the year.

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