e-CICU Study

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC’s state-of-the-art video conferencing technologies allow us to provide complex pediatric cardiac care through remote and virtual examinations — whenever and wherever our expertise is needed.

Our world-class intensivists provide remote consultation for pediatric heart patients in critical care units around the world. Experts from our cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) oversee international programs and provide consultations and “ad hoc” care management requests. 

Current locations for this program include:

  • Cali
  • Bucarmanaga
  • Medellin

All are located in Colombia.

Case Study: Cali, Colombia

In a 2012 published study by Children’s Hospital physicians, Children’s Hospital measured the impact of telemedicine on satisfaction rates, collaborating with a hospital in Cali, Colombia.

In this study, a series of pediatric patients were tele-assisted from the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Children’s to the CICU at Hospital Valle del Lili, Cali, Valle, Colombia, between March and December of 2010.

An attending intensivist from the CICU in Pittsburgh reviewed cases, monitored real-time vital signs, and gave formal medical advice as requested by the attending physician in Cali. A post-intervention survey regarding satisfaction with the telemedicine service was conducted. Satisfaction rates proved to be equally high for technical and medical aspects of telemedicine service.

The study concluded that telemedicine is a feasible option for pediatric intensivists seeking experienced assistance in the management of complex cardiac patients, and that real-time remote assistance may improve the medical care of pediatric cardiac patients treated in developing countries.

Total mortality during the telemedicine period in the CICU at the Hospital Valle del Lili in Cali improved to 4% compared with 9.3% from the previous year. Because of the design of the study it was not possible to attribute such a decrease in mortality to the telemedicine program, but the researchers think that prospective studies addressing this specific outcome will confirm this observation.