Shillong, December 19 : Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma and Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh on Tuesday launched the 10BedICU project in 14 healthcare centres across the State, covering 11 districts.

The 10BedICU project is a private public partnership initiative between the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Meghalaya and eGovernment Foundation. The initiative includes 10 beds in ICU’s in district level Government Hospitals.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the Chief Minister lauded all the stakeholders instrumental for the project by ensuring that healthcare facilities and services are made available at rural and inaccessible areas of the State including district hospitals.

“The infrastructure and system being set up would allow us to optimise all of our resources and make them work in the most efficient manner. It is the aspiration to expand this endeavour, so that the best possible support in terms of health care to some of the most remote and difficult areas of the State could be achieved,” the Chief Minister said.

Terming that the State Government has accorded top most priority for health care sector, the Chief Minister said, “We would give top priority to our social sectors, and health would be one of the major focus area. With this in mind the state now reserves 8% of its budget on healthcare of which it is the highest in the country.”

Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh said that through the project the State government will be able to provide ICU care at district level. He said that the launch of 10BedICU project will go a long way in ensuring a transformative impact in bettering the health care facilities in the State.

The inaugural function was graced by Chief Secretary DP Wahlang, Principal Secretary Health Sampath Kumar, Chairman of Infosys Nandan Nilekani, Chairman 10BedICU Srikanth Nadhumuni, Founder Karuna Trust, Dr Sudarshan Hanumappa and Public Health Expert and Scientist Nichiket Mor.

The 10BedICU Project was conceived as a response to the second wave of COVID-19, aimed at making critical healthcare accessible across every district, including the most remote regions of the country. The project consists of 5 components:

  1. Providing and installing state-of-the-art ICU medical equipment at district level govt hospitals.
  2. Deploying cutting edge digital technology like ABDM compliant patient management software called CARE for delivering improved healthcare outcomes.
  3. Deployment of the TeleICU system in a hub-n-spoke model, with TeleICU Hubs in government tertiary care hospitals connecting specialists to remote 10BedICU hospitals.
  4. Basic and advanced critical care training and standardizing ICU protocols.
  5. Community participation to maximize the impact and sustainability of the project.

The 10BedICU Project is also the first of its kind in the country to offer digital tools based on Generative Al to improve patient outcomes and ease the workload on healthcare professionals.

The following tools are offered to the Govt. Hospitals:

  1. CARE- AI Transcription Engine allows healthcare professionals to provide audio input to CARE eliminating the need for typing to maintain the electronic medical records (EMR) of the patients.
  2. Smart ICU module allows the high-resolution cameras in the ICUs to read the vital parameters from 5-para monitors linked to the patient and automatically upload it periodically to the electronic medical records. 3. CARE- Al Nurse Assistant is a conversational tool with audio and text support that allows healthcare professionals to seek guidance on following standard ICU Protocols while treating a patient. This ensures quality through standardized practices within the ICU.

The 14 10BedICUs in Meghalaya were funded by Vinod Khosla and HDFC Bank Parivarthan. Several NGO and industry partners come together to implement this project including eGovernments Foundation, Hamilton Medical, Google Cloud and Koita Centre for Digital Health at IIT Bombay.

10BedICU has already deployed ICU units in 206 hospitals in 9 states including Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Puducherry.

Vinod Khosla, Silicon Valley venture capitalist and a key supporter/donor of the 10BedICU project, said, “The only sure way we can truly help smaller rural hospitals is by creating good ICU infrastructure and through Tele/CU digital technology to provide specialist doctors online”

Srikanth Nadhamuni, Chairman, 10BedICU Project and Founder CTO Aadhaar said ‘We have launched 10BedICUs in 9 states covering 26% of the country’s districts already, we plan to launch a 10BedICU in every district of the country with TeleICU online access to specialists.”