A doctor, without moving from the Bogotá hospital from where he works, observes and guides the care of a patient who is fighting for his life on a stretcher from another healthcare center, located hundreds of kilometers away: a COVID-19 patient who was admitted to a Guainía ICU. The specialist decides if everything is progressing well, so that the process continues there, in Guainía, or if it is urgent that the patient be transferred to the capital … And everything, through glasses! This is not a science fiction movie, it is the new reality. “We are talking about an exceptional use of technology”, as the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, says.
“We know that it is difficult to have specialist doctors in scattered rural areas all the time, but being able to count on their guidance from miles away, thanks to technology, is something essential for health to reach all Colombians. We are clear that it is a challenge over time, which implies not only the availability of specialists, but also connections and other technical elements, but everything has gone well and is an example to be replicated in other territories ”, he adds.
This assisted reality system is called Clinical Eye (“clinical eye” in Spanish). It is a development by Boston Scientific, implemented in Guainía in alliance with the telecommunications company Andired and Coosalud EPS.
Let’s look at the 5 reasons why this technology platform is revolutionizing healthcare in times of COVID-19.
“This, without a doubt, represents an immense advance and gives possibilities to provide better and more timely care to our citizens”, Fernando Ruiz Gómez, Minister of Health and Social Protection.
1. Camilo Arenas, Patient Access Manager at Boston Scientific, explains: “Clinical Eye is a highly innovative assisted reality solution with which Boston Scientific seeks to contribute, through this tele-support tool, to the transformation of the service of Colombian health services through remote assistance ”. The development began a year and a half ago, but, with the pandemic, it was strengthened.
2. How does it work? Using the assisted reality glasses and web software on a computer or smartphone, “we managed to bring together various health professionals so that they can remotely monitor patient care in various places: joining as experts in a round of patients or in the care of a person with complications who requires consultation with a specialist who is not present in the care area or even outside the city. We have had cases, for example, of patients in Inírida who are treated with remote support from doctors and specialists in Bogotá ”, Arenas assures.
746 patients have been treated remotely in Colombia thanks to this technology, 336 of them are in clinical isolation areas for COVID-19.
3. Clinical Eye has been made available to clinics, hospitals and health promoting entities in the country for free. “In this sense, facilitated by the operation of our General System of Social Security in Health, any Colombian could benefit from this technology to improve access to the health services they require,” adds Arenas.
4. In the development of this program, the number of health professionals exposed directly to areas of high contagion and isolation has been reduced and the increase in the offer of virtual services has been supported so that more patients can access remote consultations with doctors experts from multiple specialties, supraspecialties or other experts from different areas of knowledge.
Clinical Eye has been used in: Apartadó, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cúcuta, Ibagué, Medellín, Montería, Pasto, Pereira, Popayán, Puerto Inírida, Tunja and Valledupar.
5. Clinical Eye is also used as a communication bridge between family members and patients who are in isolation areas or in intensive care. Not only have families managed to talk with their loved ones, but they have also been able to receive medical reports in real time during care from health professionals.
Will it reach Cartagena and the Caribbean region?
“Yes. Boston Scientific’s Clinical Eye project continues to expand and every day we are reviewing how we can continue to contribute to all regions of the country. We will continue working together with health professionals, clinics and hospitals and health promoting entities to reach the places that need it most, positively impacting the largest number of patients, ”concludes Camilo Arenas.