Need to Know
- Microsoft and GE Healthcare have teamed up to launch software that supports hospitals uring the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Mural Virtual Care Solution allows short-staffed teams to remotely monitor several patients at once, reducing staff exposure to COVID-19.
- GE and Microsoft join a number of major tech companies stepping up to fight the pandemic.
In partnership with Microsoft, GE Healthcare has launched a new software solution to support the bogged-down healthcare system amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally intended to be launched as a new feature for its Edison platform, GE Healthcare has redesigned the platform after COVID-19 interrupted plans, and today, the medical technology company announced the launch of its Mural Virtual Care Solution.
Acting as a central hub for hospitals, the software is designed to help ease the pressure on the health care systems by enabling clinical surveillance on ICU patients and better monitor patients using ventilators.
Mural supports potentially short-staffed teams by allowing one clinician to monitor several patients at once, supplementing existing monitoring devices in patient’s rooms. Remote surveillance will also reduce clinician’s exposure to COVID-19.
Dr. David Rhew, the chief global medical officer of Microsoft, explains that the remote monitoring tools “could help hospital staff limit their exposure to infected patients and help conserve needed personal protective equipment.”
“Now more than ever we need to manage a greater number of ventilated patients with limited resources. Mural Virtual Care on Microsoft Azure allows for remote management and surveillance of ventilated patients at scale,” said Rhew.
Mural Virtual Care Solution also enables hospitals to activate specific health care protocols, such as the now during a pandemic, and ensure those protocols are being followed. The system can also identify patients who need intervention, such as ventilation.
“Facing the daunting outlook of a COVID-19 surge, it is imperative that I and my fellow healthcare workers use virtual ICU technology to safely monitor and care for our sickest patients while preserving PPE,” said Matthias Merkel, chief medical capacity officer at Oregon Health & Science University, who has deployed the system. “Remaining closely connected and supported through technology enables us to progress our patients’ care across a geographic distance that we would otherwise be unable to manage.”
GE Healthcare and Microsoft join a wide range of tech companies stepping up to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Apple and Google have teamed up to help the UK’s NHS trace contact, Spartan Bioscience has developed a one-hour COVID-19 test kit, and major fintech firms are now directing loans to their small business clients.