Bengaluru start-up helps Covid-19 patients in Leh

Bengaluru start-up deploys tech power to help Covid patients in Leh

At 12,000 feet

Seated at the company's command centre and using software in the city, a group of ICU experts, including doctors and nurses has been offering TeleICU consultations to their counterparts at SNM Government Hospital, a tertiary clinic located at 12,000 feet altitude in Leh, Ladakh, since November 13. Credit: Cloudphysician

Cloudphysician, a Bengaluru-based start-up, has joined the efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the remote Ladakh region by deploying the power of technology.

Seated at the company's command centre and using software in the city, a group of ICU experts, including doctors and nurses has been offering TeleICU consultations to their counterparts at SNM Government Hospital, a tertiary clinic located at 12,000 feet altitude in Leh, Ladakh, since November 13.

In fact, Cloudphysician Healthcare has been picked by the Department of Science and technology (DST) to bridge the dearth of expertise at remote areas using technology. Under an initiative called Centre for Augmenting War Against Covid-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB) that functions under the DST picked up 40 out of 800 companies that applied for the initiative to harness technology in the fight against Covid.

Cloudphysician is one of the companies that received grants and interest-free loans to come up with solution. In fact, the company has received Rs 75 lakh for the effort.

Dr Dhruv Joshi, co-founder, Cloudphysician Healthcare, who is also a pulmonary and critical care specialist, told DH that the Leh hospital had a dearth of ICU specialists. “But the patients were plenty,” he pointed out.

“The ten-bedded ICU is full. Despite the low population, the infectivity is high. There are only one or two tertiary hospitals in the area, one of them being SNM Government Hospital,” he added. Changing ventilator settings and recommending an appropriate treatment protocol for patients in Leh are some of the things the command centre here helps with.

Dr Dileep Raman, an Internal Medicine, Critical Care and Pulmonary Medicine specialist and also a co-founder of Cloudphysician, said the command centre in Bengaluru had three to five ICU doctors and nurses at any shift. "Some of the medications are pretty strong and only experienced nurses can handle,” he said. “Covid ICU complications range from cardiac, renal and lung infections."

Dr Raman pointed out that the specialists at the command centre are only rendering ICU expertise and would not try replacing the bedside doctors.
The team uses a software called RADAR that has components for video feed, writing notes, chat and a module to record and review the patient’s vital signs both by the bedside doctor and the experts at the command centre.

"There are multiple video streams that we receive, one is a high-definition one, where we can even look at the patient's eyes and breathing patterns. We can even take images of the monitor where we do real time analytics. Another video stream is a standard teleconference one, for patient counselling, and talking to family members," said Dr Raman.