Emory Healthcare observes patients intelligently

  • December 13, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

To help reduce fall risks and other safety concerns in hospitalised patients, Emory Healthcare in Georgia, USA, is using technology from Andor Health to bring virtual patient observation to its hospitals.

The inpatient monitoring technology will provide an extra layer of safety interventions for patients who need additional supervision and care.

Florida-based Andor Health, a company focused on artificial intelligence (AI)-powered virtual care, developed ThinkAndor to empower care teams with relevant clinical content. ThinkAndor harnesses generative AI to unlock data stored in various systems including ambient listening and real-time visualisation, to detect common safety risks, such as falls, self-harm and elopement.

Emory Healthcare academic health system began piloting the virtual sitter technology this month at two of its hospitals, remotely monitoring at-risk patients on medical and surgical floors and in the emergency departments.

With hospitals across the country still facing staffing shortages, this technology allows for AI enablement to observe patients, so team members can return to other direct patient care roles.

“Andor Health’s virtual patient observer and virtual sitter technology expands our virtual health initiatives across Emory Healthcare, while reducing the burden of nurses and other team members,” said Jason Atkins, vice president for Emory Digital, part of Emory Healthcare. “Currently, Emory nursing assistants, nurse technicians or other team members serve as patient sitters for some of our hospitalised patients.”

Andor Health virtual observers, working with registered nurses in a control centre, use voice activation technology to talk remotely with at-risk patients and remind them to stay in bed, call for assistance or provide other guidance, while alerting Emory Healthcare staff on-site of safety concerns. The monitoring services will be provided round the clock.

“Fundamentally, we have a shared vision of how we can transform clinical paradigms with the latest innovation in AI and virtual collaboration experiences,” said Raj Toleti, CEO of Andor Health. “Advances in new technologies like generative AI-based virtual sitting and ambient monitoring open opportunities to reduce operational burdens, staff shortages and costs while allowing the health system to focus on delivering quality care. Progressive health systems like Emory Healthcare can leverage virtual hospital capabilities such as virtual sitting at scale to effectively observe patients while optimising staff with this additional support.”

Emory Healthcare will invest in Andor Health virtual patient observer and virtual sitter technology in 32 inpatient rooms during the first year of the collaboration and plans to add the technology to 50 additional rooms in the second year.

“We are on a mission to adopt digital innovation and high-tech to assist us in providing safe, quality care to our patients,” said Alistair Erskine, chief information officer for Emory Healthcare. “This collaboration enhances our inpatient monitoring resources at Emory by leveraging virtual and AI capabilities to support the best patient outcomes.

Andor Health (andorhealth.com) harnesses machine and human intelligence in a cloud-based platform that unlocks data stored in electronic medical records to deliver real-time actionable intelligence to care teams inside and outside their enterprise.

Emory Healthcare (www.emoryhealthcare.org), with nearly 24,000 employees and 11 hospitals, is a comprehensive academic health system in Georgia. System-wide, it has 2796 licensed patient beds, more than 3450 physicians practicing in more than 70 specialties, serving metro Atlanta and Georgia with 425 locations. It also provides services to greater Georgia through a joint venture at St Francis-Emory Healthcare Hospital in Columbus, ten regional affiliate hospitals, and its clinically integrated physician network.